Diane is a lover of all things beautiful; music, art, antiques and nature. Her guides bring insight to topics she cares passionately about.
British sterling silver hallmarks help to identify the maker and year of manufacture of sterling silver items produced by Great Britain. Understanding and learning to recognize these marks can help you avoid costly mistakes in both the purchase and sale of antique English silver. This guide will explain what each mark means and how to find them on a piece of antique British sterling silver.
I've been buying and selling antique silver for many years now. When I first started going to estate sales, I was always drawn to the silver gleaming on the tables. I didn't know what the marks meant, but I was determined to find out. Thus began my education and passion for silver. I found great resources online, bought out of print books on the subject and picked the brains of antique dealers I met. The knowledge I have gained has helped me score some big finds over the years. The estate salespeople often miss these sterling treasures and sell them cheap, not realizing their great value. I once purchased an English silver sovereign case for $5 at an estate sale and later sold it on eBay for $250.
Learning to recognize these marks will help you to find treasures too, maybe even in your own home. Here's how to read the marks.
The British Standard for Sterling Silver
Ever hear the word "sterling" used to describe a person? "Why, John has a sterling reputation". Britain's long use of the sterling standard has made the word "sterling" mean the pinnacle of quality, whether in metal or a person's character.
By law, British sterling must be 925 parts silver to 75 parts other alloy metals, or 925/1000. This is known as the "sterling standard." This standard has been in place in Great Britain for centuries, with most other countries adopting this standard much later... Every removable part of a British sterling item must be fully hallmarked. For example, a teapot with a lid will have marks on the pot, as well as on the lid.
Look for hallmarks on the underside, rims, and handles of items.
British System of Sterling Silver Hallmarks
All of Great Britain use the same system to mark their sterling silver. Each item is assayed (tested) for quality, then marked with a series of 4 - 5 symbols, each in a cartouche of the same shape. The shape is used with letters to help date the item. The hallmarks will tell you if the item is sterling silver, what town it was assayed in, the date of assay and the maker's initials.
British Sterling Quality Marks
The symbol for English sterling is a walking lion, or "Lion Passant". Most countries that live under the reign of the British crown have their own sterling mark, instead of the lion. Scotland uses a thistle flower, Ireland uses a harp, and so on. Make a note that England itself has made the bulk of sterling wares over the centuries. Items from Scotland and Ireland are rare and can command higher prices.
British Town Marks
The town or city mark denotes the place where the item was tested for its silver quality, or "assayed". Common town marks are:
- London: Leopard's head (with or without a crown)
- Birmingham: Anchor
- Dublin: Seated lady
- Edinburgh - Castle
British Date Marks
British date marks use letters from A - Z to represent dates. Each town of assay uses its own system. London uses A - U, Birmingham uses A - Z, etc. One letter represents one entire year, then it changes to the next letter in the following year. Some letters can be omitted, like "J" or "V", because they are too similar to other letters. When the last letter is reached, the alphabet is repeated, but with a different style of lettering or font.
The style of letter changes every 20 years or so, For instance, the letter "A" can be either lowercase "a" or uppercase "A", BLOCK or script, or even old English. There are guide books that can help you identify the date mark on most older pieces of sterling silver.
British Sterling Maker's Marks
The maker's mark is a series of initials representing the name of the silversmith or company. They are set into a cartouche, usually the same as the other marks, but not always. For example; W & H, for Walker & Hall of Sheffield is set within a flag. A crown on top of the initials means that the maker was a designated crown jeweler for that year, serving the royal family in repairs and creating new things for royal use.
For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.
- The assay mark for Birmingham England is a...
- A crown
- An anchor
- A castle
- Date marks are always a...
- Roman numerals
- The British sterling mark is a lion...
- Rampant (on two legs with front claws attacking)
- Sejant (seated)
- Passant (walking with one paw raised)
- A group of letters indicates what?
- The maker's initials
- A pattern style
- A secret security code
- An anchor
- Passant (walking with one paw raised)
- The maker's initials
Other British Silver Marks
Britannia Mark: A seated woman; Used by law from 1697 - 1720, optional later; denotes higher quality silver than sterling at 958/1000.
Monarch's Head: A duty mark denoting taxes paid to the crown. This tax was instituted in 1784, after the American Revolution, to rebuild Britain's coffers that the war had drained. This tax remained in place until 1890, when it was rescinded. The image was changed to reflect the current reigning monarch.
Tips on Collecting Antique British Sterling Silver
Find English Sterling Silver at various places, including:
- local antiques shops and auction houses
- estate sales
- eBay, RubyLane, or other antiques websites.
Terms to know and questions to ask:
- Solid Silver: Often used by International Sellers in place of "Sterling". Be careful though, as sometimes this means that the silver content is NOT sterling, but coin silver. Coin silver is still considered "solid" silver, but the actual silver content is lower, anywhere from 800 - 900 parts per 1000, instead of sterling's 925. Read the description carefully. Ask the seller questions if you aren't sure.
- Era: English silver is often listed by the era it was produced in. This includes words like Colonial, Victorian, Edwardian, and Modern.
- Always ask the seller for a picture of the hallmarks, if one is not shown on the listing.
- Ask questions about the condition. eBay sellers are notorious for giving very few details in their descriptions sometimes. Always ask if the description is sparse. Ask if there are any deep scratches or dents in the silver, broken hinges, detached handles, etc.
Questions & Answers
Question: I have a roll top, footed butter dish with engravings of British landmarks. It is marked "39," then 5 symbols of which the center one is a crown. (I can't make out the other four.) Under the mark is "Made in England." My mother told me that her brother brought it to her from England after the Korean war. Can you help me identify this piece and the approximate value?
Answer: Obviously, it is made in England for export to the U.S., (thus the "Made in England" mark). Your piece could be either silverplate, or sterling, but with the number "39" on it, I am leaning towards silverplate. The crown mark is both a mark for Sheffield made sterling, and a mark used by silverplate manufacturers to try to confuse people into thinking they were buying sterling. You will have to look up marks for both English sterling and silverplate. I would try either 925/1000.com or silvercollection.com. They both have very good archives of marks, complete with pictures that you can match your marks up to.
Question: What do triangle hallmarks that are up and down instead of sideways mean?
Answer: It is just an arrangement of marks preferred by the maker. No particular meaning to it.
Question: I have a silver teapot with sugar and creamer that is very old. I was told it was from Scotland, but I'm not certain. It has four markings, and next to those markings (which I cannot make out) is "JG" with an "S" underneath. There is a number under those markings of "02362." Can you help me figure out what this is?
Answer: Without a full description of all the marks, I really can't tell you what you have. It sounds American though, with that number "02362" American silver makers mark parts of a set in sequential numbers. Look at all the pieces and see if that is true. A trick to revealing marks that are hard to read is to hold a lit candle just under the marks, so that it makes the mark area all sooty. Let it cool, then take a piece of clear take and press it over the marks. Lift it carefully and stick the tape to a piece of plain, white paper. Take an up-close, macro photo of the marks and then enlarge them, wither with imaging software, or on a copy machine. It is amazing how well this technique works. If you can make out the marks better, come back and describe them to me, or send a note to me through "contact the author." I think that is found either on the article page or my profile. Then I can tell you how to email me directly with a picture of the marks. Good luck.
Question: My friend has a beautiful silver tray that has a 5-point crown with the letter P under the crown on the top side of the tray. Could this be a piece from Peter the Great?
Answer: No. Russian silver is marked much like British silver. It uses a series of marks representing the quality of silver, date, the town of assay and the maker's marks. Most countries, in fact, use at least four marks in the same way. American silver is the exception to the rule. American silver usually has a name stamped on it, but it could also be just initials of the maker, or symbols that don't mean anything. The only important thing about American silver is the name, and whether it has a sterling stamp or 925/1000 stamp on it denoting sterling. I looked, but couldn't find anything resembling your mark. I suspect that it is American, and may just be silverplate.
Question: I have a question about a hallmark which appears to be a 3 leaf clover in a square recess. It is the only hallmark on a possibly Victorian, round, silver box. I can't find any mention of this hallmark and was wondering if you might have any knowledge of it?
Answer: Hi. A .3 leaf clover is unusual. Most companies that use a clover in a hallmark use the 4 leaf clover...for it's a connotation of giving good luck. The only hallmark I could find that is just a single clover (and a 4 leaf clover at that) is from the Howard Sterling Company. I don't think it is a match. Sorry I could be more help.
Question: What does it mean if you have the two hallmarks marks, and then a bell and, then two arms lifting a weight?
Answer: The bell is often a symbol for Sheffield plate. That is a specific kind of old silverplate made by sandwiching a layer of copper between two thin sheets of silver. It is better than electroplating. Alsi, the "arms liging a weight" is an arm and hammer. It is usually a means that the item is hand made, as opposed to being stamp-formed by machine, but sometimes it is just the maker trying to make people think that it is when it is not.
Question: I have an antique silver teapot from my Grandma. On the bottom is the number 3, plus a circle with 'Monarch Plate Brand' written inside it with a flower-like logo. The centre of the logo has the letters 'c M j' on top of each other. Underneath '2045' is stamped. Under that, '8/T/658' is handwritten. Is it made of sterling silver? Where is it made?
Answer: Your silver teapot is silverplate, not sterling. Monarch Plate Brand is the trademark of Standard Silver Co. out of Toronto, Canada. They were founded in 1893.
Question: I bought a queen pattern 100+ silver sent by John Mason from an older gentleman on craigslist. It came in a nice table box. It is shiny and looks new. It says "Made in Sheffield England" on the back, but with no mark. The back of the knife is hollow, and the forks are really heavy. Am I looking at a Chinese set or a silver plated original?
Answer: The only thing I could find on John Mason was a post selling a tea tray. It stated that John Mason was a silversmith for Tiffany in the late 1800s, but struck out on his own to start his own business in 1890. It failed after two years. He supposedly operated a high-end retail shop, importing fine goods for sale. That would make sense with the box stating, "Made in Sheffield, England." The US government began requiring imported goods to say where they were from, in 1890. England has always been noteworthy for its fine silver, so it makes sense that he would be selling those kinds of goods in his shop. As to whether or not it is sterling, If it doesn't have a full set of British sterling hallmarks, it is most likely silverplate. There should be marks on the handles of the pieces, either on the underside of the handle or sometimes on the side on knives. Rarely, it will be stamped on the knife blade. If you can find any hallmarks and tell me about them, or better yet, send me a picture of them, I can help you further. Without marks, I can't tell you anything definitive.
Question: What is an English hallmark that looks like a candelabra?
Answer: I don't know of any English marks that look like a candelabra. The city marks for Exeter and New Castle have castle turrets that could be mistaken for a candelabra, I suppose, if the mark is extremely worn. Are all the other mark there identifying it as a piece of English silver? Specifically the lion, date letter and maker's initials.
Question: I have a small platter that has the letters HSCEP and the numbers 5596. Between them is a crown with a lion and a horse both lying down on either side of it facing each other. Can you tell me about this?
Answer: Hi, Your platter is most likely electroplated silver on copper, or some other material (sometimes brass or nickel). EP usually stands for "Electroplate". Your mark sounds like the one from Hartford Sterling Co of Philadelphia, PA (1900-1931). The word "sterling" in their name doesn't mean that all their wares are sterling, just that they make things with silver, and that can include plated wares. The number 5596 is most likely a pattern, or set number. The latter belongs to a set (tea set, serving set, etc...) and each piece in the set will have a matching, consecutive number. I'm glad I was able to solve this riddle for you. You can find the mark on the website 925-1000.com under "Silverplate Marks."
Question: On a teapot bottom, some of the markings seem to be obscured on the top with what appears to be an iron cross with a crown in the center and a cartouche with #7 inside Above the stamp number is 1119 – can you tell me about this teapot with lid and sea-grass covered handle?
Answer: Your teapot was made by the Manchester Silver Co. They were in business, out of Rhode Island, from 1914 - 1985. The number "1119" is a pattern number. Other pieces in the tea set would have consecutive numbers. The number 7 is likely some other identifier, like maybe a date mark, which we don't have a code for. If the teapot isn't marked "sterling", then it is silverplate.
Question: I have an 1865 Roberts & Belk Chafing Dish. I don't see a walking lion or the word sterling on it, but I do find an elegant S seal to which I can't find the meaning. There are four marker's marks: R&B, the elegant capital S, a gothic CP or CB, and a 3-pointed herald. That is all. Is this sterling or plated?
Answer: Your piece is silverplated. Roberts & Belk worked out of Sheffield and London. Your mark is a known silverplate mark for the firm. I could find no explanation for the "S", but it is part of the mark. The "CB" stands for Charles Belk. You can find images of their marks on the website silvercollection.it
Question: I have a small teapot which seems to be sterling with a woven handle on the silver handle. It has L.B.S.00Under that is a cross, a crown, and a shield. The third line is 111 and a symbol I do not understand. Then the 4th line is N.S. What do I have?
Answer: N.S. is used to identify "Nickle Silver" There is no silver on the teapot. It can shine up real pretty like silver, but with less luster and brightness than real silver. "111" is likely a pattern number. Tea sets are often numbered with each piece of the set having a consecutive number. I was unable to find a match for the maker. "L.B.S" would be the maker's initials. The other symbols don't have any meaning, other than the maker trying to make it look like English silver.
Question: I have a silver ingot (from the 1970's) it has RC Sheffield rose walking lion and a capital "D." Can you help me identify this?
Answer: Also, if this really is a silver ingot, I am not familiar with ingots and their markings. You may have to see another expert to help you identify it. An auction house may be able to help you, or even a coin dealer.
Question: I have some silverware I found with a lion in a crown holding a arrow, it does have several hallmarks on the back, I'm not sure how ti identify, can you recommend a site that could help?
Answer: The website I use for most of my research is the Encyclopedia of Silver Marks at 925-1000.com They have the most complete list of marks from around the world. Your silverware doesn't sound English. It could be American, or just about from anywhere else. It will take you some time, but will be worth it in the end if you are able to find a match. You can also post a picture of the mark to their forum and sometimes people there can help you identify the marks.
Question: I have a tea and coffee service with a lovely pumpkin pattern. It is marked as "Made in England Silverplated Copper" and has the initials "NB & S." Is that a manufacturer's mark or a description of the material?
Answer: It sounds beautiful! Those letters are the maker's mark. It looks like that is an unidentified maker. I found it on an English silverplate list, and it is a known "unidentified" maker's mark. You know it is made in England at least. It is probably old. Most makers stopped using copper under silver in the mid-1800's.
Question: I have a large serving tray. The mintmark is on back. Where can I find out information on the mint mark for my British sterling silver? The marks are a small cat facing followed by a capital p and capital s. The last mark is a crown.
Answer: That is a "known" unknown mark. It is speculated that it possibly belongs to one of three possible makers; Poole, Preisner, or Prill. If you go to the encyclopedia of silver marks website, you will find it under Silverplate Marks. Look under the "p" listings.
Question: I have an old necklace. The clasp is stamped “sterling," with no other marks. Is this a hallmark? Does it refer to all the metal in the necklace?
Answer: It is common for jewelry to be marked just "sterling" or "925, if it is American or Chinese (made for an American company...I think that's how they get around the "Made in_____" law). That usually means that the rest of the necklace is sterling as well. However, clasps break and are replaced, or can be placed on a non-silver chain with the purpose of deception. If you are unsure, you can have a jeweler test it. At the very least, the necklace and clasp should look like the same metal.
Question: I have an old teapot that has no markings. It looks kind of handmade but very ornate with a flower on the lid. I thought it might be a hallmark? This was my great aunt's.
Answer: The ornate flower is just a decoration, not a hallmark. There is a possibility that this might be French. While the British display their marks boldly and are easy to see, the French tend to hide their hallmarks in obscure places, and they are VERY small, making them very hard to find. I suggest going over the whole piece with a good magnifying glass to see if you can find any marks. If you find any, come back and tell me about them, and I'll see if I can help.
Question: I have a pair of antique silver candelabras. The bottom is stamped with a crown and the letters "G, S, C". Can you tell me what these things mean?
Answer: It is most likely American silver, but I can't tell you who the maker is.
Question: What do the letters "ECG" mean in terms of silverware? There is also a lion, castle and the letter "U".
Answer: Those are the initials of the maker's name. Depending on what the castle looks like, it comes from either Exeter or Newcastle. The Lion is for sterling, and the letter "U" is the date code, depending on what the letter style is. I tried to find the maker on the silver marks website, but I didn't see it there.
Question: I've found a thimble with an anchor and a lion, as well as the letter z stamped on it. It also has the letters "h c" and the number 15 stamped on it. Would you have any clues?
Answer: Thimbles were often made of sterling, which your thimble is. It is from Birmingham, England. The date letter is the letter "z", but without seeing the style of the letter, I can't tell you what the date is. You would have to look it up on a Birmingham date chart. The "HC" is the maker's initials. Unfortunately, I can't find a maker with just those initials. All the ones with "HC" in it also include another letter, such as "D" or "A". The number 15 is likely the size of the thimble.
Question: I have a serving tray with three stamped symbols on the back. I think one is a crown over the number 5, a funny shaped M and another, differently shaped M. if Is there a way for me to send you a photo of the mark?
Answer: Yes! At the top of the article there is a "contact the author" link. Click on it and ask your question. It will shoot me an email and I can give you instructions from there.
Question: I have a mens ring and inside are the marks, "Br Sterling Silver." Does the "Br" note "British"?
Answer: No. Br is likely a makers initials. There is a maker out of Finland that uses those marks...Helsinki, Börje Rajalin: BR 1958-1982. However, if this is Finnish silver, it would have another assay, country and date marks and not just say "Sterling Silver".
Question: I have a silver with cobalt glass insert salt cellar. On the bottom it is stamped England and has something that looks like either a challis or possibly a menorah. Would you know who made this?
Answer: Yes! Your salt cellar was made by Barker Ellis Silver Co, Ltd (sometimes listed as Ellis-Barker Silver Co) out of Birmingham, England. They have been in business since 1801 and make both sterling and silverplate wares. Your salt cellar is plated, not sterling. The "menorah" mark was used in 1912. There is lots of information about the company online.
Question: I have an English silver sugar bowl with hallmarks on the base. They are; a lion, an anchor and a letter G. They also have “0350” and coin markings. Is this sterling or silverplate?
Answer: You have a piece of silverplate by Gorham, a very well known American silver company. Many American makers adopted markings that simulated the English silver marks. Partly to confuse the public into thinking that their wares were English, and partly to fool them into thinking it was sterling. The number "0350" is a pattern number. If the piece doesn't say "sterling" on it...it isn't sterling. If it says "coin", then it is considered "solid silver", but a lower grade than sterling, usually about 91.66 parts per thousand.
Question: I have a glass plate that rotates on a silver base. Base has a 5 pointed crown over a shield with two standing lions facing each other. It appears to be a tree between the two lions. Is this sterling or plate?
Answer: This is most likely silverplate. Things that are sterling are usually marked as such, and that mark doesn't match any known sterling codes.
Question: I have a Frank Cobb & Co. Ltd. Sheffield England Tureen 129 2886-83 then a cross symbol stamp as the assay or hallmark? No plate or silver or sterling references just number and what looks like a stamp of a cross symbol.
Answer: It sounds like you have a piece of silverplate made by Frank Cobb. They were indeed out of Sheffield and made both sterling and silverplate. The number is likely a pattern number. The cross is most likely a date symbol of some sort, but there is no listing of date symbols that I could find. Frank Cobb was in business from 1905-1940. Without the lion stamp, it really can't be sterling. Good, beautiful silverplate can still be valuable and collectible, it just won't bring the prices that sterling would have.
Question: I have a small cup, but it only has the number "78" on it. There are no other hallmarks, etc. on it. Do you have any ideas?
Answer: That sounds like it is just a pattern, or style number. I can't find any references to a two-digit number, except for Russia. They use a two-digit system, along with other identifying symbols and maker's initials, but never use the number "78", that I can find. It is most likely silverplate.
Question: I have a spoon that is marked Sterling with an image of a walking lion and an R 925 engraving. I'm confused, as I read that "R" means that the spoon is coated, but if it says "Sterling 925" then it's not coated. So which is it?
Answer: The walking lion is the British symbol for sterling silver. 925 is also a symbol for sterling. If the mark is: lion, symbol (town of Assay), R, Name or initials of maker, then it is British sterling silver. The letter "R" is a date indicator. You will have to go to the Encyclopedia of Silver Marks website to look up the mark. Match the town symbol with yours, click on that, then look for a match in the date table for your letter "R" to find the date. The initials at the end are the maker. You can look that up too.
Question: I have a silver tea service of 7 pieces with a hallmark of a crown, followed by a B, then S, then possibly a Q. I can find no other markings. The set is quite heavy. What can you tell me about it ?
Answer: Your tea set was made by the Birmingham Silver Company. They were in business from 1957 to 1974 first in New York, and later moved to Connecticut. The set is silverplate. Sometimes this company made silver on copper items. These tend to be quite heavy, but weight alone may not be an indicator of whether or not there is copper underneath. You may have to do a scratch test in an inconspicuous part, like under a lid, or on the bottom of a teapot, to see if there is copper under the silver. Silver on copper tends to be more valuable than silverplate made with a pot metal base.
Question: I have a teaspoon. On the back of the handle reading from left to right: Lion passant, upper case C, a man's profile (wearing a wig) and the letters HS. Does this maker's mark mean this teaspoon is sterling silver?
Answer: This sounds like it is sterling, however, you are missing a mark. There should be a city mark, like a crown, castle, anchor, etc... The person in profile is most likely a duty mark. Check for a crown mark. If you can find it, this piece is most likely made by Henry Stafford. He operated out of Sheffield in the last half of the 1800's. The duty mark is most likely Queen Victoria, who reigned during that period. The "C" is a date mark. You would have to match it up with the date mark table on the Encyclopedia of Silver Marks website. Look under British Silver, and Sheffield. See if you can match up your marks to what you see there.
Question: I have an ingot with the following identifiers: RC, Sheffield rose, walking lion and a capital "D." What is this?
Answer: In theory, if you have an ingot, it should be pure silver, not sterling. Furthermore, the symbol for Sheffield is a crown, not a rose. If you could send me a picture (please take a good close-up to make the symbols more clear) and send it to me. I think there is a contact button that will send an email to me; then I can instruct you further from there.
Question: What is a Castle imprint for on a silver-trimmed glass dish?
Answer: The castle mark can mean different things, depending on what it looks like. British sterling uses different forms of castles to indicate that the pieces were assayed in the towns of Exeter, and Newcastle in England, and Edinburgh in Scotland. The Danish use a castle with three pointy spires to indicate that it is from Denmark. You will need to go to a website with a pictorial archive of hallmarks to try to match up the castle on your silver with one in their archive. An excellent archive that I use is the Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, or 925/1000.com. If you can't find a match in their pages of the countries I suggested, do a more in-depth search on the pages of the site. They have hallmarks from every major silver producing country in the world.
Question: I have a silver tea set (pot, cream, sugar) that was owned by my grandma in Canada; I'm not sure where she got it. The only mark or stamp on the bottom of all of them is what looks like a little decorative tankard or jug with lid. One has a hand scratched "TNR" over "NHC." Have you ever seen this jug stamp before? Is it even silver? The family did come from Scotland and Norway via the U.S.
Answer: I have never seen a mark like that. I checked some sources for both silver and pewter but was unable to find anything like what you described. I am making an educated guess that the "hand-scratched" letters are perhaps the initials of the owner. Maybe it was a wedding gift, and the initials are that of the bride and groom? Makers never scratch their initials into the metal; it is always stamped into the metal. Check back into your grandmother's family tree, you may find something there that will give you more clues.
Question: Can I send you (the writer of this article) pictures of the marks?
Answer: Yes! Click on my name. Go to my Profile. Click on "Fan Mail" on the right side of the page. Just say hello and tell me your questoin. I will reply and give you my email address to send some pictures to.
Question: I came across a 3 piece sterling silver teapot set. On the bottom they each have the same serial number of 17168, also stamped with Sterling, and 925 over 1000 Fine. The insignia is either a unicorn or a pegasus. I cannot find anything about who made it or what country. Any help would greatly be appreciated. Can you help me identify this mark?
Answer: You have found a tea set that is American made. The maker's mark, the unicorn, is the mark of Mauser Manufacturing Co. They were in business in New York from 1887 through 1903. The "serial number" could be either an actual serial number, but is more likely a pattern number, showing that each piece is part of that set. If you want to verify that the mark is Mauser, go to the Encyclopedia of Silver Marks website and look up the Mauser mark. I suspect that it will match up.
Question: I have a serving tray with a raised letter "P" and a five-point crown insignia. How can I find out how old it is?
Answer: That is a "known" unknown maker. You have a piece of silverplate that is thought to be American. The reason is, because silver and silverplate was pretty highly regulated in Britain, as to what marks were allowed to be used. In America, makers tried to emulate the British marks to make it appear that their silver was of the same quality or grade, and even to fool buyers into thinking that they were buying British silver, not American. So, they mimicked the marks of British silver, but it doesn't mean the same thing. Your mark is thought to be from the American silversmiths Poole, Preisner, or Prill. You can find the mark listed under "Silverplate Marks" in the "P" section on the Encyclopedia of Silver Marks website.
Question: Can you identify this hallmark? I have a silver plated service tray with a hallmark of a circle surrounded by arrows traveling counter clockwise. It also says "Made in England" Silverplate on Copper.
Answer: I searched for you mark at a few hallmark websites, but couldn't find one that looked like it. Since it says "Made in England" all I can say is that it dates to 1890 to the present. Are there any other marks you can find? It might help. Also, I think there is a "Contact Author" button just under my profile name on the article. You can write me a note, it gets sent to my email, then I can share my email with you, and you can email me a photo of the mark. Sorry I couldn't tell you more.
Question: I have a small butter knife I think it is a mix of gold and silver. What is it? It has what appears to be a small c inside of a circle of leaves. I can't find that stamp anywhere
Answer: Your little butter knife is most likely silverplate. The gold is either gold plating (if it is on the surface), or if it is peeking out from under the silver, it may be silver plating on brass. I have been unable to find the mark.
Question: I have a heavy square bodied cut beveled glass inkwell with a silver convex lid having the initials CUS in script engraved on it. Under the hinge on the lid, there is a thistle stamped followed by Sterling 956A. Above that is etched W6744. Does this mean it's Scottish? Also, what year do you think this was made?
Answer: Your inkwell is not Scottish. Scottish silver uses other marks than just the thistle, and those marks are not present on your piece. I think that the silver on your inkwell was made by Matthews & Prior. They use only a thistle as their hallmark. Matthews & Prior was in business from 1898 to 1904, and they specialized in sterling holloware (which your piece is). The initials "CUS" is the engraved initials of a previous owner. The other number/letter combinations are most likely pattern or part identifiers.
Question: I have a Walker and hall fish poaching pan. I'm struggling to identify anything about it. It has a Savoy hotel and Claridge's stamp on the bottom. The other markings are a "4 90 G", a "W&H" symbol in a flag. A "Walker and Hall" stamp. Also a small 5 with another small symbol which is hard to make out. I acquired this while working as a chef, and would love to know more about it, and was wondering if you could help?
Answer: YHi, your piece is most likely silverplate. Its markings are most similar to the silverplate markings for Walker & Hall. The good thing is...this is what is called "Hotel Silver." Hotel silver is a high-grade silverplated item for use in hotels. It can have up to 12 layers of silver plating, instead of the usual 1 - 4 on regular silverplate. It is VERY collectible and can fetch quite high prices, depending on its condition, and what hotel it came from. Yours is from a very famous hotel, so I think it could bring a good price. You may be able to date it from the marks on the piece, but you would have to decode them. Since I can't see them, I'll send you to the website that has a really good explanation and examples of the Walker & Hall date codes and symbols. Go to silvercollection.it/ENGLAWALKER&HALLDATE.html This is not a link. You will have to copy and paste it into your browser.
You can look through the examples there and see if you can match something up with yours. If you want to find out more about Hotel Silver, read my article on "Collecting Hotel and Railroad Silver."
Question: What would the date be for a piece of sterling silver with a leopard head with a crown?
Answer: Don't try to date the piece by the leopard's head. That is the assay mark for the city of London. Look up the date letter chart for London on a website like 924/1000.com. That is the only way to accurately date your piece. The date mark is a single letter inside a shape, usually a square, or squarish, sometimes with rounded off corners. The date mark will tell you the exact year that your piece was made. The British have been date marking in this way for centuries, so you should be able to find a match.
Question: I have a Tiffany Silver Teapot with a wooden handle and knob. The bottom markings are a lion, an M, a Leopard no crown and a number marking of A 9681. Do you have any idea of the age and/or value? It is quite old and tarnished.
Answer: The letter "M" would be the date mark on the teapot. In order to determine the date, you will have to look up the mark on the chart for London date marks at the Silver Encyclopedia Hallmark website. The date mark changes all the time, so there is no way for me to tell you what it is without seeing it. As for the value, the best way to see what people are currently paying for similar items is to go to eBay. Do a search for "small silver teapot" (if you include the maker's name you can narrow it down more for better results). Search the "completed" listings to see the actual price that items are selling for. Sorry I can't help more.
Question: I have a silver (plated?) tea set with the letter J and a shield shape with two horizontal lines. There are also the characters L896. Can you tell me who made it and where?
Answer: I looked through the list o f makers and I can't find anything with that mark. Your tea set is most likely silverplate. The L896 is most likely a pattern number. It is also most likely American, but as I said...I can't find any maker's marks to match your description.
Question: I have a beautiful ladies ashtray with a centerpiece to stub out and this lifts then to put your ash A&JZ An anchor, a standing lion and then a 'b' Have you any idea of the history at all please?
Answer: Your piece was made by A & J Zimmerman out of Birmingham (the anchor) in 1901 (the date letter "b"). They were in business from 1900 to 1913. It is sterling. That's all I can tell you.
Question: I have an antique silver teapot from my Grandma. On the bottom is the number three and a circle with "Monarch Plate Brand" written inside it with a flower-like logo. The centre of the flower has the letters "c M j" on top of each other. Underneath is stamped 2045, and under that is handwritten "8/T/658." Is it sterling silver? Where was it made?
Answer: You have a teapot that is most likely silverplate. Monarch Plate Brand was a trademark used by the Standard Silver Co., out of Toronto Canada in the late 1800s. The number 2045 is most likely a pattern number. All the pieces of the set would have been numbered consecutively: 2045, 2046, 2047, etc.
Question: I cannot find the maker and date of this teapot. Can you help find the maker? I have a vintage silver teapot with "E.S," and a lion peasant hallmark with a line through it.
Answer: I am missing the town mark in your description to help me identify this maker. I have found two silversmiths using the initials "ES." Edward Smith worked out of Birmingham (anchor mark). Edward Sweet worked out of Exeter (3 turret castle...all turrets touching). The "S" with a line through it is found in the charts for both of those cities. If you can find the city mark that would help. To identify the date, go to the Encyclopedia of Silver Marks website and look up the date code charts for those two cities. You should be able to match up the mark with one of the ones shown there. Since I can't see the mark, and there are some possibilities, you will have to look it up.
Question: I found a gold staff or mace. I did some of my own research and found that it was given to Canada from HM Queen Elizabeth. I have a lot of pictures of the queen inspecting it and I found a page of its description which says it is silver with gold deposits and it weighs 176 Troy's and it also has hallmarks of a shield with RC inside, a lion, a leopard head, and then a lower case h. Could you help me find out if is it silver and gold?
Answer: Your piece is likely a scepter, and is sterling silver with applied gold accents. The hallmarks stand for Richard Comyns, a silversmith out of London, England. You will have to look up the date mark, the "h", on the Silver Encyclopedia website to match up the date letter with the date. My question for you is...how did you wind up with what amounts to one of the crown jewels of the British Empire?
Question: I have an old, large oval tray. The engraved hallmark is capital BB in a square frame and next to it number30 Gr. Is my serving tray sterling silver or plated?
Answer: The maker is likely Barzillai Benjamin, or at least his son in 1820. Silverplate, (electroplated silver) was not invented until 1850. However, there was an earlier plating technique invented (accidentally) by the British in 1742. That was called Sheffield Plate. That involved sandwiching two think layers of silver with a layer of copper in-between. Sheffield plate is often hollow and will have a small hole in the bottom. If your tray isn't built like that, then it is likely either coin silver (900/1000) or sterling (925/1000). 30gr may have to do with the weight of the silver used. You may want to take the tray to a local jeweler and have it tested.
Do You have Any British Sterling Silver?
SHEILA on January 31, 2020:
An anchor means it is made in Birmingham
Maryannking424 @gmail .com on January 10, 2020:
What does a anchors markings mean on silver sterling
Julie on October 25, 2019:
I have this jewlery box that i have no idea what its worth or the year made.It has lions for the legs of it. It has red velvet insert also has a shield with a lion inside of it on the top.
Darrell on October 24, 2019:
Where can I sell collectibles
linda Vardaman on October 22, 2019:
I have a silver candle holder and snuffer ..on the bottom it says HW & co. has the bust of a mans head, a lion and a small letter r with a crown
can you tell me what the markings mean
Jonathan Wright on August 29, 2019:
i have a napkin ring with sterling silver written and then in single rectangle ss and 5 point star. Assume is a manufacturers mark, do you know who's
Lucia on April 01, 2019:
Please can you tell me what does HAL stand for on the back of a silver brooch
peter hickling on March 23, 2019:
I have a silver tankard with initials. G.G and then a lion then a shield and letter c at the end
Kimberly on January 04, 2019:
I bought a decoration piece with a lid, it has initials of P S L and the 4th looks like a women. Beneath it says Sheffield England. What do you make of this?
Brandy F. on January 04, 2019:
I kind of wish this allowed me to post pictures right away but I guess it won’t but I can’t figure out what the first symbol is but the second symbol is it the third symbol is a lion with his right leg raised in his tail up and he’s facing left and what looks to be a cross or baggage not quite sure if you could help me out that would be totally awesome thank you so much
Jesus on December 15, 2018:
I got a brooch looks like ambar a young lady with flower and pearls neckeles carved to the gem.stamp is 925 and a G on top of 925.also a ladys mark & HK inside a box.can u help with this info please
Wendy yarnell on December 11, 2018:
I have a piece of silver I believe that I just got from my dads house. The only markings is the top with a lion standing leaning holding a sword. Handle is missing but my son thinks it used to be used to put table crimes in off of a table. Any help would be greatly appreciated
hi my name is craig on October 30, 2018:
I have a international silver Co .no markings on it and it has a few bubbled up like places a round it can u tell me anything about it thank u and have a blessed day
rebecca cardenas on October 16, 2018:
i have a tea set of 3 , 1860 ,how can i sale
Marie E Horton on September 16, 2018:
I have a cross pendant necklace with a jewelry tag that has a crown above a standing, left facing lion flanked by laurel branches. The mark is on the back of the cross too. It is a modern day piece. Anyone know what this represents? Thank you
Tommy ritter on September 05, 2018:
I have a spoon with 3 marks one is a g over a f
Naomi on August 11, 2018:
I have a victorian silver hard stone cameo ring an I was looking for the hallmark and all I can see is SILVER written in the inside. Do you know where is it from? thank you
Sara Mark on June 08, 2018:
I have a small rectangular dish that has a castle in one corner with the word Victoria underneath. I’d like to know what that Mark means and what this is made up. I can’t tell if it’s sterling or just good plate.
Manolo on May 30, 2018:
I have a small silver cream pitcher with a JD&S, marks are a crown, lion, and N. its was my grandma´s and don´t khow anything about it. can you help me identify the piece?
Terri Conner on May 11, 2018:
I have a small cream pitcher with a TH, Lion, script S and a sideways anchor. It was my granny’s and don’t know anything about it. Can you help me identify the piece?
Christine on May 10, 2018:
Hi, I have a small cut glass jar with a silver lid with three hallmarks on it, a walking lion, a lower case b and I think the last one is a shield but I can't be sure. Could you please tell me what year it was made? Thank you.
Annie on March 06, 2018:
I have a silver box I can’t make out the first mark but the second is an arrow,third the letter U and finally the lion. Wondered what year it might be for
Sarah Moore on January 29, 2018:
Yes, I have a boxed set of 12 enameled coffee spoons. They are all marked "Made In England". They also have the T & S marking, plus an anchor, a passant lion and what looks like a backwards number 3. The last of those markings is puzzling to me. It appears to mean that these were made in 1979, but I thought they were much older. Would that be what you think as well. They have beautiful red, navy, light blue, green and cream enamel on the backs of the bowls, which is in great shape. I need to sell them, and am trying to find a fair price. I can't find another set that looks like these. The inside of the box is marked Garrard & Co Ltd, Crown Jewellers, 112 Regent St W.I., formerly The Goldsmiths &Silversmiths Company Ltd.
Lisa Swiney on October 28, 2017:
Is Sheridan Silver a British company
The Old Attic/ Lynne Parker on September 04, 2017:
We have a Antique letter opener with a bone handle and what looks to be a copper finish over (what we think is) a silver base.
It has only Letter Hallmarks.
I have not been able to identify these letters.
Each letter is in a box with rounded corners.
Would you be able to help me out date this piece.
If you would like a picture I could send one to you.
Thank you for your time.
The Old Attic
Michael on August 18, 2017:
If a piece of white metal only has the lions head can you please tell me if it's real silver thank you, Michael
Ann Swartz on August 05, 2017:
I have a piece of coin silver I think and it has a flag on the back of the handle and 2 interconnected C's . Can you tell me what that hallmark that might be.
Antionette on July 24, 2017:
I have a silver tray marked with arises paw lion. Can you tell me what approximately should I charge for it?
Kathryn on June 23, 2017:
Hi I have a pair of silver barley twist candle sticks, the Hallmark says W E & Co in a shield i can@t make out the others say looks like 01 H A and R turned on its side. Has anyone any ideas ???
Robert on December 20, 2015:
I have 6 teaspoons CROWN - LION - LETTER (D) &
The initials (H.W)
brad on December 01, 2015:
I have an item basically like an ice bucket but with 3 ivory looking handles and underneath it has the lion anchor and old English G with sterling underneath with A3862. Is it silver or silverplate?
Diane Cass (author) from New York on April 14, 2015:
The crown is for the town of Sheffield. E. Viners is the name of the maker. You'll have to look up the date letter on the chart for Sheffield on the Encyclopedia of Silver Marks website. They say that EV was registered in 1900, so look carefully at the date letter to match it up exactly. Also, a mark from 1867 would also have a monarchs head mark, which you didn't mention. I'm thinking that it is a later date.
scott on April 09, 2015:
Hi I have a teapot with the letters E.V then a crown, lion and the letter D at the end. I was wondering when it was made. I think by looking at the charts it was 1867 but am not sure.
Diane Cass (author) from New York on February 11, 2015:
Glascow Scotland has had the lion rampant (standing/attacking) from 1819 to the present. Edinburgh also took on this sterling mark starting in 1975. You'll need to check the date letters and city marks to see which place and date it is from. Edinburgh's city mark is a castle. Glascow's mark is a tree. The crown above the marks could indicate that the maker was a "crown jeweler", meaning that pieces were commissioned by the crown in that year. It was a title of honor in the trade. You can go to the Encyclopedia of Silver Marks to look up your marks in their British section. If all the marks can be identified as British, then your piece is sterling. American silversmiths liked to copy the British style of marking, but a lion, or crowned lion in an American piece would not mean it is sterling. If you can't match your marks to any at the website I told you about, look through their American section. You may find it there.
Christine Morgan on January 28, 2015:
I have a hallmark that is a standing lion with paws up and a crown over it. Is this still good for sterling content? I know the side facing lion means sterling and I know the paws up standing lion means it from I don't know if I'm spelling it right but Edinburogh? But I've never seen it and would to know if it's sterling? Oh and all other marks have crown over them too.
Thank you ver much!
Diane Cass (author) from New York on January 22, 2015:
I found one name on a Scottish provincial silver website. I don't know if it is the right one or not, but they have a spoon with the HC mark and say it is made by Hugh Clark. The spoon is quite valuable, as most old Scottish silver usually is. You can contact the people who run this website. They may be able to help you further identify your spoon. http://www.scottishprovincialsilver.com/acatalog/P...
anonymous on December 27, 2014:
I have what I think is a silver spoon. It has maker's initials H.C. in a rectangular box, then a face, facing to the right, symbol for the Town of Glasgow, a walking lion and then the letter "L". From what I investigated, it was made in Glasgow, William IV reign and the L would stand for 1830. But I am unable to find any maker from Glasgow with the initials H.C. Any help would be appreciated.
Diane Cass (author) from New York on October 06, 2014:
Your piece is silverplate on copper. Without seeing the mark, it is difficult to figure out what it is. I would recommend looking it up on the encyclopedia of silver marks website. You may find it there. Look under the American and British marks. There is a section for British silverplate. There is an American company with a knight in it's mark called Sheridan. You can start there. Good luck.
lou on October 04, 2014:
I have just purchased my first "silver" footed tray at Round Top antique fair in Texas and need a bit of education. After giving the piece a good cleaning, I am able to discern there are 4 characters stamped on the back and below that the words silver on copper. The characters seem to be a lion's face with a crown in a shield of some sort, I am not able to decipher the 2nd character but it is within an oval, the third character resembles a knight in armor within a shield, and the last is lion's body profile, laying down facing right with an L (in s shield) above its back all within a shield as well.
Love the piece but would like to have a little history to tell my daughter when I give it to her. I have been unable to find anything even resembling what I have attempted to describe to you.
Thanks in advance for your information
Diane Cass (author) from New York on September 30, 2014:
Ha! A boot sale. I've never heard that term. It is most likely silverplate. Sterling usually looks brownish when tarnished, but silverplate goes very black. Also, nearly everything that is sterling is marked sterling in some fashion. Makers want to advertise quality, where they will often disguise lower quality items to fool people. Before you despair though, look the item over with a magnifying glass in good light. French sterling silver is notorious for having tiny little hallmarks that are hidden in the decorations sometimes.You may have missed it. French sterling has a rooster for the sterling mark, and other symbols for the town and maker. Good luck.
Steve Skingle on September 30, 2014:
I found an old ashtray at a boot sale it was jet black when I brought the item but as clean up very well, the only thing is I can not the hallmarks listed anywhere and was wondering if you help or know of the marks or even if the item silver or not.
Please attached pictures
Diane Cass (author) from New York on September 27, 2014:
Hi Meg. You have one of the "known unknowns". By that I mean that silver people know the mark, see it a lot, but nobody knows who it belongs to. They do believe it is American (British silverplate makers don't usually try to immitate the British sterling mark to try to pass their silverplate off as sterling). The cat is clearly a cartoon-ish style, which is never done in British silver. If you go to this website, you will find the mark under PS. See if it matches yours. http://www.925-1000.com/silverplate_P3.html
Meg on September 27, 2014:
@DianeCass Hi, I have been searching through all of the hallmark sites i can find and still can not find the exact mark that is on a silver on copper creamer. In each rectangle box on the bottom...first one is a cat, then a very gothic script P, then a gothic script S and then a crown. I thought I had narrowed it down to possibly Paul Storr, Sheffield, but can not find the script style associated with his works. Can you send me in the right direction please? Thank you.
Johnd403 on September 25, 2014:
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Diane Cass (author) from New York on July 14, 2014:
@red59rooster: Hi, your spoons and tongs sound lovely! The crown mark is for Sheffield. Without seeing the "k" mark it is impossible for me to date it, but you can look it up yourself at the Encyclopedia of Silver Marks website. Go to the British Marks section and look under the date marks for the city of Sheffield. You should be able to find the letter and date that it represents very easily. As for a nice box to display your spoons, I suggest going to ebay. They have some there...but most are being offered with spoons already in them. Keep checking back to see if any are put up for sale. Look with the keywords: antique presentation spoon case or box. You can also look around at local antique stores.
red59rooster on July 13, 2014:
Purchased 7 demitasse spoons and matching sugar tongs at Covent Garden open air bazaar in London, January 2014. On back shows crown/lion/k and in a decorative box the initials J D & S. Believe this means that this is sterling silver and k is the year of its making. J D & S represents James Dixon and Sons. Beautifully decorated on spoon end, front and back. Am looking for a nice wooden, velvet lined box to store and display the silver. It is really pretty. Do you have any insight as to the age of the pieces?
Diane Cass (author) from New York on June 22, 2014:
@roberta-racki: EPC means silver ElectroPlated on Copper. The mark you describe sounds like the mark for E. G. Webster, but that mark is usually found on sterling silver. Your piece isn't sterling. Without seeing it, it is hard for me to say for sure, but it is American silverplate. If you go to the Online Encyclopedia of Silver website and browse around a little in their American Silver section, I bet you will find your maker. Start with E. G. Webster. If that isn't a match then check the pictorial mark file. Good luck. Let me know if you find it.
roberta-racki on June 21, 2014:
I have what I believe is a coffee pot with EPC marked on the bottom the next row has a lion standing up facing left, crown& I'm not sure what the other one is. The last row has an Â£(orE) and an upside down triangle. Can you help me with this?
Diane Cass (author) from New York on June 16, 2014:
@lindsey-sessions-7: Oh wow! How exciting! I'm so glad you took the tools and information I gave and you figured it out. :) I'll email you to give you a few tips.
lindsey-sessions-7 on June 15, 2014:
I figured out what I have! It's a queen. Pattern, mark of john James. Whitting, London 1840s. I've never done anything like this ...are you. Able to points me in a direction to sell this? Thank you so much :) sessions336@Gmail
Idk. Why but this sight is extremely slow. Email would be so much easier if you're able to! Thanks again hun
Diane Cass (author) from New York on May 25, 2014:
@deedeemcd: The Gorham "Heritage" pattern is usually silverplate. The mark is odd though. The usual Gorham mark has a lion, a "G" and then an anchor. "E P" could mean "eloctroplate". The mark with the shamrock has stumped me. I can't find it in any of my books. If you can take a good, close-up picture of it and send it to my email at firstname.lastname@example.org, I will see if I can find anything on it.
deedeemcd on May 23, 2014:
I have an oval silver tray that's 13 x 9 with 3 symbols stamped on the back ..the first appears to be a shamrock, the second a lion facing left, and the third appears to be pair of scissors. I have no idea about this piece whether silver or silver plated. I also have a pair of Gorham Heritage candlesticks with a symbol of E, then an anchor inside a shield and the last symbol is a P. I'm guessing these are silverplate? Any help would be appreciated.
Diane Cass (author) from New York on May 22, 2014:
@Diane Cass: Oh, and they are an American company. :)
Diane Cass (author) from New York on May 22, 2014:
@melvin7: Hi, thank you for visiting my lens. Your tray is made by Webster Company. They have been making fine sterling items since the late 1800's. Since 1950, they have been a division of Reed & Barton. The letter you mention may be a monogram. If you want to compare your mark with theirs, you can view it here at the Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks. http://www.925-1000.com/americansilver_W2.html
melvin7 on May 22, 2014:
I have a tray that has a calligraphy letter written on the inside. It look like a g or a b.
On the back of it has a logo with an arrow going through a letter that look like a w and also a c that are connected together. Can some one help to clarify it.
Diane Cass (author) from New York on April 02, 2014:
@Collector63: Hi, Your toast rack is a bit of a mystery to me. It seems to have sterling marks, but the number "53312" is stumping me. It could be a pattern number. Sometimes silverplate has model numbers like That. Walker & Hall make silverplate too. Without seeing the marks,it is impossible to tell you anything with any certainty. Have you looked up the marks at the Encyclopedia of Silver Marks website? Look under the city Sheffield. It will have a chart of the date letters. This may help you. Let me know if you find it.
Collector63 on March 27, 2014:
HI, I have a 4 slice toaster rack from Walker & Hall. It has lots of markings on it and just wondering if anyone has any added information. The markings are as follows. Topside it has W&H along with Crown, Lion, Capitol C with a teardrop on upper curve. Underside has W&H in the Flag, numbers 53312, on underside opposite end it has Walker & Hall Sheffield 17. The only date code i see with capital C with tear drop is 1836?
Diane Cass (author) from New York on March 19, 2014:
@bsommer: Hmmm...That sounds like the mark for Birmingham Silver Company. It is actually based in Connecticut, not England. It could be that the sterling border was hand chased in England for them and then applied to the piece here. Look at the picture of the mark shown on the website http://www.925-1000.com/silverplate_B2.html It's the one at the top/right. Is that your mark? As for replating your piece, many silversmiths won't do it any more. The regulations and expense involved with doing it are too prohibitive for most small businesses. There are some companies that specialize in it, but you have to be careful. The process should not only include the plating, but "burnishing" as well. Burnishing is the process of rubbing the newly applied silver into the metal base. Without burnishing, the silver won't stick and will soon begin to bubble and flake off. Look online for companies that do silverplate restoration. I hope that helps.
bsommer on March 18, 2014:
I have a large tea set that is marked on the bottom with the following: "Sterling Silver Boarder, Chased by Hand, Silver over copper, made in England." It has a crown on either side of a three boxes (cartouche?) first box is capital B, second capital S and third looks somewhat like a capital C with a backwards "n" near it. The silver is wearing thin and the copper shows through with the detailing of the piece. I took it to a local silversmith who can do restoration and appraisals but because they were unfamiliar with these specific markings I am holding off. Is this made by British Silver Company? Any details?
Diane Cass (author) from New York on February 16, 2014:
@Lee Hansen: How wonderful to have a metalsmith in the family. Hang on to that sterling coffee server. They are very collectible and rarer than tea pots so tend to be a little more valuable.
Lee Hansen from Vermont on February 16, 2014:
I have a few pieces of vintage sterling; my stepdaughter is a metalsmith and works with new Sterling for many of her one-of-a-kind pieces that feature semi-precious stones. I have an old coffee server and my mother-in-law's flatware set. Love it all!
Paul from Liverpool, England on February 16, 2014:
What a pleasure to see a lens with expertise and enthusiasm behind it!
Diane Cass (author) from New York on September 29, 2013:
@Dean79: Your piece is silverplate, not sterling. Vicery Plate was made in the early 1900s and became a part of National Silver. If the silverplate is still in good condition, it could have some small value...between $5 to $20. If it is plain, it would be the lower value. If it is very decorative, it could bring a little more. Hope that helps.
Dean79 on September 29, 2013:
I have an oval silver plate about 5 inches in length, marked viceroy plate 1732. Is this sterling silver? how could I find its value. My wife inherited this.
anonymous on September 19, 2013:
@Diane Cass: Thank you so much for your help, will let you know if I can obtain more info. I do believe it is possibly from 1920 based on its style
Diane Cass (author) from New York on September 19, 2013:
@anonymous: On further investigation, Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Co merged with Garrard & Co., Ltd. in 1952 Contact Garrard & Co to see if they still have the records on this piece. http://www.garrard.com/home/
Diane Cass (author) from New York on September 19, 2013:
@anonymous: Hmmm...that sounds very interesting. Goldsmith & Silversmiths has been making silver since at least 1899. A small, block-style letter (like the font on this page) is from 1900. If it is a gothic, old-english style it is from 1920. I don't know what those other numbers are. They are most likely either serial numbers (which Tiffany puts on their holloware pieces) or pattern numbers. I'm betting they are serial numbers. If that is the case Since they are still in business, you can call or write them and ask them about this piece.
anonymous on September 18, 2013:
@Diane Cass: The "W&" is really strange; it's stamped at the center of the lid, which is the flattest part. There is no vestigial bit of any other letter.
anonymous on September 18, 2013:
Good morning, I recently purchased a Sterling Silver Inkwell by goldsmiths&silversmiths G&Sco overLP of 112 regent st. W. It has 815,a lion walking left,a leopard head,and what appears to be a small e. It also has 16949 over21590 on the piece. It also has what appears to be a hiesy type glass mounted insde the piece Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,Elvie
Diane Cass (author) from New York on September 12, 2013:
@anonymous: Hmmm...this could be either EPC for electroplated copper, or EPC, for the maker's initials. I would really like to see the mark. If you can send me a good close-up picture of your mark, I could figure it out easier. Go to my profile page, click the "contact" button and send me a message. I will give you my email address then and you can send me your picture.
anonymous on September 12, 2013:
My mother in law gave me a small silver bowl to find information on and I wasn't doing to well until I came across this site. can you please help me? It is 4 inches across and 3 1/2 inches tall with scrolling design around it. on the bottom it has the lion walking to the left looking at me, a crown and then an upper case B. it also has the numbers 2722 and I think it says KUNG's and then there is a E.P.C under that.
Diane Cass (author) from New York on September 03, 2013:
@anonymous: Hmmm...British Silverplate can be difficult to date, as it didn't follow a strict standard like sterling silver did. Each company followed there own method of coding and they don't always make sense. Walker & Hall were very well known silversmiths in Sheffield, England. Their business ran from the early 1850s up until they dissolved in 1971. If you can get me a picture of the mark, I might be able to help you better. I need to see the style of lettering, the arrangement of the letters and symbles, that sort of thing. Click on my lovely face and that will take you to my profile page. Click on the tiny "Contact" button under my portrait and you will see my email address. Send me a picture of your hallmark. A good, clear closeup if you can. I'll see what I can do.
anonymous on September 02, 2013:
Hi - I have a Walker & Hall silver plate six-slice toast rack and I was curious to find out when it was made. The cartouche beneath the W&H flag has a lower case "d" in it along with the numbers "53250" and "A1". The other side has the stamped words "WALKER & HALL SHEFFIELD" and "WARRANTED HARD & SILVER SOLDERED"along with an "11". The big mystery mark is on the top of the rack - it is a pennant shaped British Flag with a crown in the middle above the letters "ED".
Thanks in advance for any help you may be able to provide.
Diane Cass (author) from New York on August 16, 2013:
@anonymous: The anchor is for Birmingham. the "W&..." should have another initial as in "W & H" for Walker & Hall or "W & K" for Wardell & Kampson. It's hard to tell about the date, without seeing it, but the 1920s were using lower case letters, not upper case. Upper case "P" was used in dates 1787, 1838, and 1864. Take a look at the date letter chart on this website http://www.925-1000.com/dlBirmingham6.html#M
anonymous on August 16, 2013:
@Diane Cass: Inside the lid I found four more marks: another "P", another lion, "w&", and the upper half of what looks like an anchor. I've looked in silver hallmark books; from what I can make out, my piece is from 1920 and could have been made in Birmingham. If you can read anything else from this, I'd appreciate the information - thank you!
Diane Cass (author) from New York on June 12, 2013:
@anonymous: Hi, there should be two more marks on you piece. Look for a initials and the city mark. It will be really hard to identify the piece or even date it without them.
anonymous on June 10, 2013:
I have a vintage silver sovereign holder, and I'm trying to identify the hallmarks. From left to right on it there is an uppercase letter "P", slightly Gothic looking, and a full-body lion in a rectangle. I believe the lion signifies that the piece is sterling, and the "P" indicates when it was made, but I can't get any more precise than that.
Thank you for your help!
Diane Cass (author) from New York on June 07, 2013:
@anonymous: Hi, That lion/"W" mark is from the Whiting Manufacturing Company. They were in business from about 1840 up until they were bought by Gorham in 1924. They used various symbols as date marks from 1905 to 1924,, and the "B", could possibly stand for "Butler's Tray". If the tray is large and has handles, it would be a butler's tray. It doesn't sound like your tray has one of those date marks, but you can check it here at http://www.925-1000.com/Whiting_Date_Code.html Hope that helps.
anonymous on June 07, 2013:
I am trying to find out information regarding an engraved sterling tray. The markings are a profile lion "passant" that has a circled upper case "w" stamped at the head of the lion. Underneath is stamped "sterling" and then the numbers "16", then a number "6" and finally the upper case letter "B". (Each stamping is underneath the other ending with the "B". This is a family piece that was presented as a gift and engraved on the front "1871". Any information that you might be able to provide would be greatly appreciated.
Diane Cass (author) from New York on May 03, 2013:
@anonymous: Hi, thank you for your question. I looked up your marks and I can help you know more about your sterling. EV stands for E. Viners, the maker. The crown is the symbol for Sheffield, England. The lion stands for sterling. The letter "0" is the date letter. If it is an "old english" style letter than it is probably from 1905, since EV wasn't a registered silversmith until 1900. I hope that helps.
anonymous on April 30, 2013:
cream & sugar with serving tray; oval shaped with fluted sides; symbols are "EV" then 3 pictures of a "crown"" a "lion" & the letter "O"
Diane Cass (author) from New York on March 30, 2013:
@anonymous: Silver on copper is a high quality silverplate. Collectors will often pay more for it than for other types of silverplate. If it were Gorham, it would be clearly marked with the Anchor/Lion/G mark of their company. English silver companies still usually use their initials or name in the mark. It is most likely American, though I don't know that mark, nor can find it. There is a mark that is similar to the one you describe, but it is two griffins, not lions. It is for the company Theodore B. Starr. You can find the mark at the Encyclopedia of Silver Marks website to compare it with yours. There is a link to the site above.
HowToDiva on March 09, 2013:
This is an amazing resource lens. I have been trying to find this info online to ID some silver inherited from British godparents. Thanks!
Diane Cass (author) from New York on March 04, 2013:
@anonymous: There was a Charles Lion in Sheffiled, but that was in the 1830's. Did the mark look like this one? (scroll down the page on the link to CL to see the mark) http://www.silvercollection.it/englishsilvermarksX... I don't know how long he was in business.
anonymous on March 02, 2013:
Small silver tongs 4 inches just bought at garage sale Marks are Crown, walking Lion, large U and shield w what looks like CL in shield....I think Sterling Sheffield 1887 but can't find CL in shield do you know Silversmith?
Diane Cass (author) from New York on February 22, 2013:
@anonymous: Actually, "passant" means "walking" The "sterling" lion symbol is a lion that is walking, you see his side, heading left, with his face turned toward you. The crowned "leopard" (not lion) is the symbol for London. I'm not sure what the triangle mark is. Prior to 1716, the date marks weren't letters, but look more like runes of some sort. It is possible that this is a really old piece. You might want to contact one of the London auction houses...like Christies or Sothebys and show them the mark. If it is really that old it could have some real value to it. Really old pieces are rare, as silver and gold items were often melted down under succeeding kings and invasions. Very little remains to the present. I'm sure that a major auction house, or museum would be VERY interested in this platter.
anonymous on February 21, 2013:
So, I found a large platter that has what looks like a triangle with a straight line coming out from one side (arrow?) , a crowned lion (saw a picture of one from 1545 and it looked like that one), the sterling lion looking at you (passant means looking straight ahead I think), and the London crowned leopard. I have never seen three "cats" on English sterling before and need to know what it all means. I did not see any letters.
Diane Cass (author) from New York on February 20, 2013:
@anonymous: The Harp is an Irish symbol for sterling silver, but the rest of the marks aren't. Items aren't usually stamped "England" either, if they are sterling. I'm wondering if this is a more modern piece (made in England would be produced for export to the US after the 1900s), or possibly silverplate, which doesn't have the same strict standards for marks as sterling silver.
anonymous on February 20, 2013:
I purchased a silver salt cellar w/ cobalt blue glass bowl. It's stamped ENGLAND w/ what appears to be a harp, a compass and another harp, anybody have any idea's of the maker?
Diane Cass (author) from New York on February 16, 2013:
@anonymous: Rogers Bros silver is silverplate, not sterling. The 1847 is popular line that was taken over by the International Silver company in 1898. A1 is supposed to indicate the quality of silver, but it is really just a marketing tool and doesn't really mean anything.
anonymous on February 16, 2013:
I received a doldrums knife, fork, and spoon matching set marked Rogers Bros. A 1, about 33 yr. ago, from a woman who was 90+ yr.s at that time, who told me they were her spoons she used at the time she was a child, already passed to her. They are stamped Rogers Bros. 1847 A1. Can you tell me anything about them. They have a woman head on the shank.
Diane Cass (author) from New York on January 30, 2013:
@anonymous: Yes. EPNS stands for ElectroPlate Nickle Silver. Silver products coming out of India are commonly either silverplated nickle or brass. If you flick it with your finger, it will ring like a bell. Your other piece is silverplated copper. This type is generally considered better quality, or more valuable than other types of silverplate, as the copper is valuable in it's own right, and the plating process uses more silver. I don't know which company used that lion mark, but it is most likely American. You can look it up at this website http://www.925-1000.com/americansilver__Menu.html Just scroll through the listings. They are either alphebetical or pictorial. All have images of the marks for comparison. Good luck.
anonymous on January 29, 2013:
OOPS- I just found some more data on the ice bucket made in India. On top of handle is"Eales 477 handchased E.P.N.S."Does that mean silverplate?
anonymous on January 29, 2013:
I received a 21"silver waiter's tray as a wedding present over 60 years ago & never used it. There is a mark--2 standing lions holding a shield and the words "silver on copper" above them. Also has the numbers 9-653-6. I will try to e-mail a photo. Is it Gorham or English, and is it of any value? Also, have a small silver ice bucket with a paper tag "India" and is enscribed with the letter S. Is it sterling?
Diane Cass (author) from New York on January 25, 2013:
@anonymous: The shape of the "shield" (actually called a cartouche) changes over time. The cartouche will remain the same shape all through a cycle of lettering, say capital letters in old English styling...A through Z. When that series is done, the letters will change (say to a lower case block lettering...a through z) and the cartouche shape will change as well. The letters and cartouche shapes help to date the piece. See if you can find the date letter to match yours here http://www.925-1000.com/dlGlasgow.html Also, British silver is marked on every removable piece. A watch has many...the case, lids, stem, inside mechanism cover, etc... Each of these should have hallmarks on them.
anonymous on January 25, 2013:
I have a silver pocket watch that I bought from a jewellers in Nottingham a few years back. It is Swiss made and sold on Oxford Street, London according the the inscription on the back. I was told that it was made circa 1860, although it is clear by it's face and hands that it has been renovated at some time in it's life. The hallmarks are queer: Lion Rampants in pairs on the inside of the case back and inside the further piece that lifts up to reveal the mechanism. I am puzzled by this as the Glasgow mark is a Lion Rampant but in a squarish shield but mine are in a slim outlive pointy at the bottom?
Diane Cass (author) from New York on January 23, 2013:
@anonymous: Hmmm...It sounds like the marks on the silver band may be just decorative, and not makers marks, but I can't be sure without seeing them. Eagles are usually an American symbol. You don't find eagles in British silver marks. You might want to submit a picture of your powder horn to an auction house like Christies or Sothebys. They give free appraisals and can tell you if it is valuable, and possibly more about ti.
anonymous on January 22, 2013:
I have an old Powderhorn that my nephew dug up from underneath a root of an oak tree. It has a walking lion in one
fourth of a family shield located on the back. It was acid tested and was told it is silver. Also has double eagles on each side and other designs. It is such a mystery and I need help to find out the value, who it belonged to, and who made it. Thank You
Diane Cass (author) from New York on January 17, 2013:
@anonymous: Your silver may not be English. Gorham Silvermisths use a symbol set that is similar to the British. A "G:, a Lion rampant (standing on hind legs and attacking), and an Anchor. All American sterling is marked "STERLING". The British never have the words "STERLING" marked on the piece. They use the Lion Passant (walking lion) intead, as the symbol for sterling quality silver. There are a few other American silver makers that mimic the British. The Toronto Silver Plate Co. used a crown and a lion passant with the words "Sterling", but no anchor.. Peter Kinder used a lion, capital letter "K" and a crown, but no anchor. Without seeing the mark, it is hard to say for sure.
anonymous on January 17, 2013:
I have a six piece place setting of silver flatware. Marks are crown at top, then at botton is sterling, lion, anchor and last mark I cannot tell.