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British Sterling Silver Hallmarks

Updated on January 25, 2017
Diane Cass profile image

Diane is a lover of all things beautiful; music, art, antiques and nature. Her guides bring insight to topics she cares passionately about.

A Guide to Reading and Understanding English Silver Marks

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 sales people often miss these sterling treasures and sell them cheap, not realizing their great value. I once purchased a 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 Mark Lion
British Sterling Mark Lion

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 it's silver quality, or "assayed". Common town marks are:

London - Leapord'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 it's 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.

What iis it? Answer the questions below using the information you just learned.


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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 place.; local antiques shops and auction houses, estate sales, or onlin at 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.

How to Identify English Silver Marks

Do You have Any British Sterling Silver?

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    • Diane Cass profile image
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      Diane Cass 2 years ago from New York

      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.

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      scott 2 years ago

      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.

      Thank you

    • Diane Cass profile image
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      Diane Cass 2 years ago from New York

      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.

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      Christine Morgan 2 years ago

      Hi,

      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!

      Christine

    • Diane Cass profile image
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      Diane Cass 2 years ago from New York

      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...

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      anonymous 2 years ago

      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 profile image
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      Diane Cass 2 years ago from New York

      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.

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      lou 2 years ago

      Hi Diane

      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 profile image
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      Diane Cass 2 years ago from New York

      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.

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      Steve Skingle 2 years ago

      Hi,

      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

      Many thanks

      Kind regards

      Steve

    • Diane Cass profile image
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      Diane Cass 2 years ago from New York

      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

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      Meg 2 years ago

      @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.

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      Johnd403 2 years ago

      I'm truly enjoying the design and layout of your blog. It's a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a developer to create your theme? Outstanding work! eccdgdbecaca

    • Diane Cass profile image
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      Diane Cass 2 years ago from New York

      @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.

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      red59rooster 2 years ago

      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 profile image
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      Diane Cass 2 years ago from New York

      @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.

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      lindsey-sessions-7 2 years ago

      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

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      roberta-racki 2 years ago

      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 £(orE) and an upside down triangle. Can you help me with this?

    • Diane Cass profile image
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      Diane Cass 2 years ago from New York

      @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.

    • Diane Cass profile image
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      Diane Cass 3 years ago from New York

      @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 dlcassame@yahoo.com, I will see if I can find anything on it.

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      deedeemcd 3 years ago

      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 profile image
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      Diane Cass 3 years ago from New York

      @Diane Cass: Oh, and they are an American company. :)

    • Diane Cass profile image
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      Diane Cass 3 years ago from New York

      @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

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      melvin7 3 years ago

      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 profile image
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      Diane Cass 3 years ago from New York

      @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.

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      Collector63 3 years ago

      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?

      Thanks

    • Diane Cass profile image
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      Diane Cass 3 years ago from New York

      @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.

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      bsommer 3 years ago

      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 profile image
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      Diane Cass 3 years ago from New York

      @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 profile image

      Lee Hansen 3 years ago from Vermont

      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!

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      Paul 3 years ago from Liverpool, England

      What a pleasure to see a lens with expertise and enthusiasm behind it!

    • Diane Cass profile image
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      Diane Cass 3 years ago from New York

      @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.

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      Dean79 3 years ago

      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.

      DEAN

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      anonymous 3 years ago

      @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 profile image
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      Diane Cass 3 years ago from New York

      @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 profile image
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      Diane Cass 3 years ago from New York

      @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.

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      anonymous 3 years ago

      @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.

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      anonymous 3 years ago

      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 profile image
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      Diane Cass 3 years ago from New York

      @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.

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      anonymous 3 years ago

      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 profile image
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      Diane Cass 3 years ago from New York

      @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.

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      anonymous 3 years ago

      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 profile image
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      Diane Cass 3 years ago from New York

      @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

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      anonymous 3 years ago

      @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 profile image
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      Diane Cass 3 years ago from New York

      @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.

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      anonymous 3 years ago

      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 profile image
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      Diane Cass 3 years ago from New York

      @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.

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      anonymous 3 years ago

      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 profile image
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      Diane Cass 4 years ago from New York

      @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.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      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 profile image
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      Diane Cass 4 years ago from New York

      @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.

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      HowToDiva 4 years ago

      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 profile image
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      Diane Cass 4 years ago from New York

      @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.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      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 profile image
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      Diane Cass 4 years ago from New York

      @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.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      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.

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      Diane Cass 4 years ago from New York

      @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.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      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?

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      Diane Cass 4 years ago from New York

      @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.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      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.

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      Diane Cass 4 years ago from New York

      @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.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      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?

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      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?

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      Diane Cass 4 years ago from New York

      @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.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      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?

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      Diane Cass 4 years ago from New York

      @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.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      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

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      Diane Cass 4 years ago from New York

      @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.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      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.

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      Diane Cass 4 years ago from New York

      @anonymous: Your welcome. No guests can't post pictures here, and I don't give out my email. I encourage you to do a little research at the website I gave you, Encyclopedia of Silver Marks. The site is easy to use. They have pictures and charts of all the English marks. I'm sure if you try, you will be able to identify the marks on your own. Your mother is right. The butler's trays are worth more than other types of trays, as they are bigger and more rare.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @Diane Cass: Thanks for the quick response...I looked again at the marks on the footed tray and the 4th one looks like the side profile of a man (monarch?)

      The tea service has different marks but all have the lion and monarch head. The letters are as follows: coffee pot A, teapot T,sugar T, cream R, small oval footed tray (approx. 5" long) T

      Sorry for all the questions but my 92 year old mother would love to have some idea....she always said that the tray was highly sought after. Thanks so much! Sarah

      PS I would send pics but don't think they wkd show up well. Thx

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      Diane Cass 4 years ago from New York

      @Diane Cass: Also, 5 piece English sterling silver tea sets are currently selling for around $5,000 to $7,000 on eBay...and that is without a tray. Your butler's tray should add significant value to that. If you can pinpoint the date and maker, that could make it more valuable as well. If it is truly from the 1700's, it could be historically significant. I highly recommend sending pictures of your tea set, and good close-ups of the marks to Christies or Sothebys. Both auction houses will give free appraisals on their websites. I would sell the tea set through them, if they are interested in it.

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      Diane Cass 4 years ago from New York

      @anonymous: It is really important to try to figure out what that indistinguishable mark is. It is the town mark, and it will help us to pinpoint the maker of your tea set. There is a possibility that it is Henry Chawner. He was registered as a London silversmith in 1786. The "P" could date it to as early as 1790. However, if this is true, there should also be a "duty" mark (the monarch's head). You need to do some poking around at the Encyclopedia of Silver Marks website. They have a great section on British silver marks. Try to match up your date letters and the other symbols to see if you can make a better determination of who the maker is, and the date. Without pictures of you mark, I can only guess.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have a silver antique footed tray with complete tea set. Tray has 5 thin bands around the edges of the tray and feet. The marks on the bottom of the tray are "HC then the symbol for walking lion, a shield, P, and I can't distinguish the last mark. Do you have any idea of the date or value of the piece? My parents got it in London at an antique shop in the 70s. Thanks for any help! Sarah

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      Diane Cass 4 years ago from New York

      @anonymous: Your welcome. I found the maker, date and town at the Encyclopedia of Silver Marks website. There is a link to it on my article. If you want to determine the value, Go to eBay and look up similar items that have already sold (completed listings). It helps if you know what the item is actually called or used for. For instance, if your pen-knife belonged to a chatelaine (jewelry worn at the waist by a woman with utilitarian items dangling from it, such as a pen, sewing scissors or coin case) it could be worth more than just a silver pen.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @Diane Cass: thankyou for your help i have tried to look it up and can't find anything on it and not sure where to go to find out what its worth or about it thankyou huni x

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      Diane Cass 4 years ago from New York

      @anonymous: Hi, Let's break down what you have so that you can look it up.

      Anchor: The piece was assayed in Birmingham, England

      AD: Arthur Downing, Ltd. is the Maker

      Lion: Sterling silver

      Z: Date is most likely 1924, since Arthur Downing manufactured in the first quarter of the 20th century.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      hello i have a small like penknife that has the hawlmark A.D lion then Z then anchor can you help me with this please as i know nothing and am curious thankyou.

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      Diane Cass 4 years ago from New York

      @anonymous: Value on flatware is primarily based on the popularity of the pattern. If it is popular, lots of collectors will be clamoring for it and the value will be higher. Unpopular or less collectible patterns will have value based on other conditions, like the name of the maker, the ornateness of the piece, condition, that sort of thing. Mother of pearl handled fish sets are currently selling for between $20 and $200 on eBay. Use the resources on this article to determine what the marks on your items mean. Once yo know the maker's name, date and town, you can look on Replacements.com to find the pattern name. Armed with that knowledge, you can search for your pieces on eBay or look at the values on Replacements.com...which are inflated retail prices and won't reflect the price collectors will pay.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have a service for 12 people of "fish" or "fruit" knives & forks that are hallmarked with 4 marks - and are combined with mother of pearl in the handles, making them quite ornate. I am interested in finding out the value of these items ----

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      Diane Cass 4 years ago from New York

      @anonymous: Hi Scott. I'm not sure what you are asking, but if you are asking how the stamps are displayed, they are usually lined up in a row, or in a diamond pattern, except of very small pieces. Also, they are usually found on the underside of pieces like bowls or teapots, but can also be found on rims, handles or other parts of the silver. Hope that answers your question.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      how go I display the stamps ?

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Scott

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      victoriahaneveer 4 years ago

      Nope but I have Dutch pieces

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @Diane Cass: Ah, thank you so much.

      There is a lion stamp on both sides of the case, 4 stamps in all...WH, anchor, Z, then lion.

      Thanks again.

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      Diane Cass 4 years ago from New York

      @anonymous: WH of Birmingham is Walker & Hall. They were makers of "Sheffield Plate", or silverplated copper items. The term "Makers of Sheffield" refers to this specific type of silverplate...NOT that they were located in Sheffield. Walker & Hall also made some sterling. Look for the walking lion mark to determine if your piece is sterling. If the walking lion isn't there, it is probably silverplate.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Helloooo:-) I'm looking at an intricate silver cigarette case which belonged to my grandfather. I have two questions...1) is a sideways anchor still a Birmingham mark? ...and 2) as the maker's mark of W.H is apparently a Sheffield maker, have I gone wrong somewhere?

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      Diane Cass 4 years ago from New York

      @anonymous: Hi Anthony,

      Your sterling (Lion) tea strainer was manufactured by E. Viners (EV) of Sheffield (Crown), England. The only Sheffield date mark that matches that description was for 1911. This was not a piece of silver for royal use. First of all, it dates too early for Edward's abdication of the throne. Secondly, England has a system of marking sterling that was created for the royal family. There would be a tiny crown above the maker's initials...in the same cartouche.. I hope this answers your question and puts to bed a family myth.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Sirs . I have in my possession a Sterling Silver Tea Strainer hallmarked from left to right EV CROWN LION T the letter T has a curve to the right at the tail end . This was given to me by a member of my family some years ago stating that it may have been made for Edward who abdicated in the 1930s for his coronation. I am not sure if this is true or its value ..can you help ? Thanks for reading this message.

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      Diane Cass 4 years ago from New York

      @anonymous: Check the pocket watch for more marks. The lion is the "sterling" mark. The "z" is the date mark. There should also be a city mark and the maker"s marks...which should be a set of initials. Once you have found those, you can look up the marks at the resources I listed.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have a limit gentlemans pocket watch and chain that belonged to my grandfather solid silver with the hallmark of a lion and 'z'. Can you tell me about it.

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      Diane Cass 4 years ago from New York

      @anonymous: I would need to know more than just the initials. I need to know what the other marks are as well. Town mark, Date Mark and the Shape of the cartouches. If you send me a picture, or try to describe them to me, I can try to find out for you, but you can also look them up online at http://www.925-1000.com/british_marks.html

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      My husband purchased a tea set in an antique shop in England in 1956. The pieces have 5 stamps plus numbers above and below the stamps. Can you tell me who M H & co were?

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      JoshK47 5 years ago

      I do not - but these are very attractive items you've presented! Thanks kindly for sharing! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

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      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      I adore British silver, preferably sterling silver. Blessings for highlighting such beautiful items to collect.

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      BestRatedStuff 5 years ago

      This is so useful, we have some silver candlesticks from the beginning of the 20th century made in England. Cheers

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Enjoyed browsing over you brass merchandise, not too many places to just stare at this type of metal.

    • Diane Cass profile image
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      Diane Cass 5 years ago from New York

      @DreamsBloom: Yeah, the guidebooks can be a bit pricey. Hey Dreams, Post a picture of the hallmark on the Squidoo Facebook group we are on or message me with it. I'll look it up for you. I have several good guidebooks, and I love sleuthing.

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      sherioz 5 years ago

      This is a very helpful lens. I just started learning about collecting. Your true story is very educational. If you want to dabble in antique collecting you just have to do the homework!

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      DreamsBloom 5 years ago

      @Diane Cass: Thanks. I haven't been able to get a guidebook. But I have looked at several online sites for hallmarks and haven't ever found this mark. I do think it's more modern and probably American, but I'm just guessing. The plates themselves are a generic style that I've seen similar versions of by other companies so I don't think they're anything special other than they're sterling. But I do get curious about that darn hallmark. ;)

      It is interesting to look at all the different marks out there.

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      Joan Haines 5 years ago

      The closest thing I have to silver is silver plate. This is a fine lens. "Squid Angel blessed."

    • Diane Cass profile image
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      Diane Cass 5 years ago from New York

      @DreamsBloom: You can get a guidebook, or look online at the Encyclopedia of Silver Marks website. It is very useful and covers American, as well as International silver

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      DreamsBloom 5 years ago

      Very useful.

      I have some sterling bread and butter plates, but haven't been able to identify the hallmark, so I don't know if it's British or from somewhere else.

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      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Good information. People who are in the market for this kind of silver should really know all this stuff and should never buy something they know nothing about. But then, you see it all the time on Antiques Roadshow, where they thought they really had something, and it was a big fat nothing. People will never learn to get educated before they go out to buy! Thanks for sharing!

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      Angela F 5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Fantastic lens - I'll be more diligent looking at marks in the future.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      A "sterling" lens, Diane! I don't own any British Sterling silver. Maybe one day! This lens was an education for me. Thanks for teaching me about Sterling Silver. All the best.

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