The study of the L.J.Berger items is very interesting both for its vast production (many pieces have come down to us) and for the operational period with great changes in official marks, still unclear.
I add to your observations mine which lead me to hypothesize a new marks classification in the period 1796-1798.
L.J.Berger does not appear to have registered any mark during the Ancien Regime until the end of J.F. Kalandrin’s Regie, Nov. 1792.
The period between 1793 and the first half of 1796 is not yet sufficiently documented and needs further study.
The first known mark of L.J.B. was deposited at June 12, 1797, as evidenced on the plaque an V, following the Arrete 21 brumaio an V, and shown at page 95 of the volume Nouveaux poinçons by J. Helft. (symbol: 5-pointed star FIG. 2)
A “droite timbale” with a 5-pointed star symbol above the letters L.J.B., which corresponds to that of J. Helft, has recently appeared on the online market with Jurand P89, Kalandrin’s Charge and Decharge without numbers. These marks, still in the Ancien Regime style without royal insignia, remained in use until 30 Jul 1797 as indicated by Arminjon. (Orfevres registers end)
In the second half of 1997, as the draft of the future Brumaire Law was at a very advanced stage, the first lozenge marks were provisionally adopted in Paris and Arminjon claims to have found them on a plaque, unique in its kind and preserved in the Tresor of the Monnoie in Paris.
This single plate could contain only a limited number of marks and it is likely that it were not the only one and that others have been lost.
L.J.B., active only from the previous two months, has certainly deposited the lozenge mark.
The Monnoie, together with the change of silversmiths marks, has also adopted a new guarantee or royalty payment mark replacing the previous Kalandrin. I propose may be the one with a boar head 1 in oval, for the following considerations.
I observed 28 items with the “tete sanglier 1” mark; all present silversmith lozenge marks and title and guarantee marks COQ1 / 85, but never Greek woman 1 ; among these also various Berger's gobelets, timbales and a ciborium with lozenge mark without dot between L. and J. (FIG.5) had been found.
The Monnoie on January 8. 1798 issues a Resolution that imposes the lozenge mark throughout the French Republic. Moreover the Brumaire Law, as planned by art. XX and LXXXII of , has replaced the guarantee mark with a new one to identify the census period lasting 6 months. This census mark therefore provisional but already from the COQ shape, has the letter A on the left and 1 on the right and is accompanied by a guarantee with the head of an old man with upside-down numbers S8. Since this date, the poinçon d’essai Greek woman 1 was also used.
After January 8, Berger lays a new mark similar to the previous one but adds a dot between the letters L. J. to differentiate it as documented by the gobelet with the rare COQ A1 / S8 brand with the Greek Woman 1. (FIG. 4)
Even after the definitive application of the Brumaire Law on June 18, 1798, Berger kept the mark with the dot between L. ° J. (FIG. 1)
Since two different marks to identify a silversmith in the same period cannot coexist so it is impossible that the one without a dot was in force after January 8, 1798 but only before.
Some rare objects by Berger have, such as MGSilver's marriage timbale, a lozenge punch without a dot between L J, associated with official marks COQ 1 / 85 and Greek woman 1, after 18 June 1798. (FIG. 6)
In my opinion these objects, already stamped in the second half of 97 by Berger but unsold and therefore without official mark (sanglier 1), were presented only after the application of the Brumaire Law and marked COQ 1/85. This eventuality is known and occurred every time the guarantee stamps are changed both in the Ancien regime period and subsequently as in 1809, 1819, 1838, especially in the first period of the new marks
Beginning in 1809 (Coq 1 2°series), Berger's objects always feature a lozenge with dot but the poinçon d’essai appears to be Greek Woman P almost constantly. (FIG. 3)
The attached photos present objects from the periods:
1st half 1797 symbol star and Jurande P89,(FIG. 2)
II semester 1797 lozenge without dot and sanglier1 (FIG. 5)
8 Jan1798 lozenge with dot and COQ A1 / S8 upside down and Greek woman 1 (FIG, 4)
18 Jun 1798 lozenge with dot and COQ 1/85 and Greek woman 1 (FIG1)) + rare items late with lozenge without dot and COQ 1/85 (FIG. 6)
1809 lozenge with dot and COQ 1 2nd series and Greek woman P (FIG. 3)
These findings document the entire period of Berger's activity and I propose for your evaluation the temporal classification of the various marks of both Silversmith and Officers.
I look forward to your comments and any criticisms of this reconstruction.
Best regard Clapel