A Guide to British Sterling Silver Hallmarks
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.
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
I have a silver ice/champagne bucket by J.B. Schooman Paris with a "10" and "anchor and word peace written underneath." What is the significance of peace?
If the word "peace" is engraved into the metal, it could be a sentiment on something that was intended to be a gift or presentation of some sort. If it is stamped into the metal, along with the other hallmarks, I have no idea what the purpose is.
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?
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.
I have 2 covered serving dishes with the maker symbol S.G Do you know the British maker?
If there are other marks that identify these as British silver (the lion, city mark and date mark), then there are two possibilities. SG can stand for Sebastian Gerrard (early 1900's) or Samuel Godbehee (late 1800's to late 1900's). You will have to match up the marks at a site like silvercollection.it or 925-1000.com to know which is correct.
I have a small footed round platter that has England with a castle in what looks to be a shield and also a small six-point star that is stamped at outer edge but no other markings. Do you have any ideas?
Hi, this sounds like a piece made in England for an American retailer, or distributor. The fact that it says "England" kind of gives that away. American laws in the late 1800's began demanding that the country of origin be stamped, or labeled clearly on an item. Other than that, I can't find anything. I looked, but I couldn't match anything with your description. Send me an note through the "contact author" button on the article. I can then give you instructions for you to send me a photo. That often helps.
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?
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.
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?
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.
I have a spoon and am trying to figure out the origin. The markings say, "GWD hand wrought 19." Can you help?
I found a maker for that mark. There was a Graff, Washbourne & Dunn that worked out of New York from 1890 up until 1961. Hand wrought usually means that it is sterling worked by hand. The "19" may be a pattern number of some sort. The mark I found for this company is bar-shaped. The G and D are in diamond shapes at either end of the bar, with the W in the middle. Does that sound like your mark?
I have a scallop bowl with two marks. A 900 in an oval, and then AD in an oval. I know this means it is 90% silver but what is the AD?
You are correct! 900 means that it is a little less that sterling (which is 925), but still considered to be "solid silver". The AD is the initials of the maker. That marerk is unknown though, as it is not in any of the reference books.
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?
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."
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
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.
I have a set of teaspoons marked, " Crown, Walking Lion, Gothic X, HW." Could you please identify what they are?
Your spoons are from Sheffield, England. The maker's name is Henry Wigfull. You will have to look at the date letter chart on the Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks website to determine the date.
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?
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.Helpful 10
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?
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.Helpful 9
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?
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.Helpful 6
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?
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.Helpful 5
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?
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.Helpful 4
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.
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.Helpful 4
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?
It is most likely American silver, but I can't tell you who the maker is.
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.
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.
What do the letters "ECG" mean in terms of silverware? There is also a lion, castle and the letter "U".
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
I have an ingot with the following identifiers: RC, Sheffield rose, walking lion and a capital "D." What is this?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
I have a mens ring and inside are the marks, "Br Sterling Silver." Does the "Br" note "British"?
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".
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
This is most likely silverplate. Things that are sterling are usually marked as such, and that mark doesn't match any known sterling codes.
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?
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.
Can I send you (the writer of this article) pictures of the marks?
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.
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 ?
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.
What is a Castle imprint for on a silver-trimmed glass dish?
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.
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?
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.
I have a tiny silver bowl with legs and matching spoon with hallmarks monarchs head, walking lion, the letter "H" and an anchor. Do you have any info in this?
Your bowl was made by Hilliard & Thomason out of Birmingham. You will have to look up the date letter on a chart for Birmingham date letters to pinpoint the date. They have a good one at the Encyclopedia of Silver Marks website. Just type that in a google search and it will bring it up.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
What would the date be for a piece of sterling silver with a leopard head with a crown?
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.
I have a silver-handled cane, the hallmarks are a lion, shield and a lower case I. The initials J.k are in a diamond shape. Do you have any information on this Hallmark on a silver cane?
The silver handle is British sterling. the lower case "i" is the date letter that identifies what year it was made. To determine that, I would need more information on what the shield looks like. There are a few city marks that look like a shield, most notably Chester and York. You have to find the city to be able to look up the date and the maker.
I have a scroll and rose creamer. The handle side is 4.5" tall. The pour spout is 2". The bottom has a raised crest with 3 raised marks. The first is a lion rampant mark, next to it crossed keys, and the mark below these is an Old English "P". It appears to be silver plate. Can you tell me anything about this?
Yes! That was made by Prill Silver Co out of New York. The company has been around since 1936 and specializes in sterling holloware (yes, that is spelled correctly). If your piece is sterling, it should be marked somewhere. If not, you may want to take it to a jeweler and get it tested. Prill may not be in business anymore. They seem to have no presence on the internet, except for people trying to figure out who they are.
I have earrings that have the abbreviation "STC" on them, with a tiny numeric 4, and sterling screw on type backings. They have green and white stones, and I can't I.D the maker through any site. Any ideas?
Hi, I am not familiar with that maker's mark. If it's newer jewelry, the websites may not have been updated to show this mark. The only thing I can suggest is to go to either the Online Encyclopedia of Silver website, or the Illusion Jewels website. They have pretty extensive lists of makers. I don't know what the "4" is for, either.
I have a large silver dish with a pineapple mark. Is it sterling?
I doubt it. I don't know of any sterling mark that is just a pineapple. It is probably silverplate of some sort.
I have a sterling silver calling card case bearing these hallmarks: HT, lion facing left, uncrowned leopard head, the letter O on a shield, and Victoria's head. This would designate sterling made in London in 1889, but I've been unable to identify the maker (HT). Can you help?
All the details you mention are correct. I also cannot find a maker for "HT." This could be due to three things; a misidentification of the maker's initials, a misidentification of the monarch's head, or there really is no information on this maker. It is more likely that the marks have been obscured by time, making them hard to read. There is an "HB" (Hugh Beard) and an "HJ" (Henry Jefferys) from London. Both of those marks could be misread if the second letter is partially obscured, and both marks are also makers from the late 1700's to early 1800's. That would also mean, if this is true, that the monarch's head is not Victoria. You can always try to contact the government assay office in London. They may be able to help you identify it.
I have a silver key. It has the walking lion, the leopard the letter "D" in script. The maker's mark is "BSI." Can you give me any information on it?
That would be silver made in London, but I can't identify the date or maker. There is no "script" letter "D's" on the chart. Maybe what you are calling "script" is something else? You should go the date letter chart on the encyclopedia of silver website to try and match up your letter. As for the maker, I could not find a BSI. There is a BS&F? Most of the maker's marks are just two initials, not three.
I have two rings belonging to my Grandmother. There is no crest and only a makers mark, and it's 18 CT. Does that make them less valuable?
It sounds like they are gold (18 ct), although the usual marking is 18k. Go have it tested by a jeweler. Most will do it for free. Value is determined by a number of factors. Is it made by a famous maker (Tiffany or Carier)? Does it have valuable gems? Is it a hot, fashionable design (Art Deco has been the rage for a number of years). If it is gold, it will have a basic scrap value just for the weight of the gold. The jeweler can tell you what that is. All the other factors come into play, but since I can't see the rings, I can't tell you what the value might be. Go to an independent jeweler who sells or specializes in estate jewelry, not a big box chain store.
Can you tell me what these symbols mean on the back of a server spoon found in Scotland? They are an eagle, a crown, and a cross.
Those are maker's marks. They identify the person or company that made the spoon. They are definitely not Scottish silver marks. They sound more American, though I can't find a maker that matches them.
What do triangle hallmarks that are up and down instead of sideways mean?
It is just an arrangement of marks preferred by the maker. No particular meaning to it.
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?
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."
I have a spoon crown, lion, K, and then HA. Is this spoon solid silver?
Yes, that is sterling silver. Don't call it solid, because that means something else. The crown stands for Sheffield, the Lion stands for sterling, and the HA is the initials of the silver maker Atkin Brothers. The K is the date, but you will have to look on the Encyclopedia of Silver Marks website to match it with the correct date. They will have a list there under British, Sheffield silver that you can find it on.
Can you help me identify a mark on some flatware I have? It is a rectangle with the letters VH in script inside, 95 in a square and in a circle either a horse head or mountains. Do you know what this Hallmark is?
My first thought was that it might be Russian. They mark their silver very differently than most of the rest of the world. The number "95" could be the silver purity mark. VH would be the maker and the other mark would be the city mark. The encyclopedia of silver hallmarks online can help you match it up.
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.
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.
My flatware is the Queens pattern and only has 4 squares containing HA EA FA EPA. There are no other hallmarks on it. I don't think its sterling, but, I'm not sure if it is even silverplated. Can you help?
No, it isn't sterling. I've never seen that assortment of initials before. Since each set of initials ends with an "A", I would think that it is initials of members of the same family, but I can't find anything on these marks, sadly.
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?
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.
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?
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.
I have a cigar torch with the symbols GY&Co, anchor, lion. As far as I can gather I've been able to date it to 1907. My question is in regard to the actual craftsman mark which seems to be sitting next to those marks. It looks like a thin outline of a boar. Could you kindly help me out with that last mark?
Your silver piece was actually made by Gourdel, Vales & Co. The "Y" is actually a "V" out of Birmingham, England. The date sounds right, as they were operating in the first part of the 20th century. As for the boar, I have never seen that before. My educated guess is that it may be a symbol added at the request of the client it may have been made for. An identifier, like a coat-of-arms, that would be the symbol of a noble house, family symbol, that sort of thing.
I have a traveling inkwell with .CA GA followed by lion, shield and lower case h. Is it from the late 1890s?
Most likely, yes. The maker's initials stand for Charles Asprey and George Asprey. The Asprey family of silversmiths goes well back into the late 1700s. The company operated under may different city marks over the years, with the "CA GA" mark coming from London in the late 1890's. The lower case "h" is for the year 1903. You didn't mention it, but the "shield" that you mentioned should have a face of a leopard (cat heat shape) in it. If so, that stands for the city of London. You can check the marks against the database of marks and images at either the Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, or the Silver Collector website to verify that I am correct.
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?
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.
I have a small silver teapot with a wooden handle. It says "silver on copper", and "castle. silver" It also has a symbol of a crown and a small cross on top. Do you, the writer of this article, have any information you can share about my teapot?
You have a silver-plated teapot, possibly made by the American company Manchester Silver Co. Their maker's mark is a cross in a crown. "Silver on Copper" means that the teapot is basically silver-clad copper. I can't find anything about the "castle. silver" you mentioned. To verify if the Manchester Silver Co. mark matches yours, go to the Encyclopedia of Silver Marks website and look up that company on their list of American makers to see if it matches.
I have a round silver compact. The bottom has a star with ‘w’ and ‘silver soldered 081’ I believe it is from Uk and possible 1890s. I can’t find any information. Any ideas on the specific of this item?
That sounds like an America maker I am familiar with. E. G. Webster & Son. One of their marks (and they had many) is a "W" inside of a star on a background that looks like a spider's web. They m. ade quality vanity items, like compacts, brushes and make-up pots. Yours is most likely silverplate. The term "silver soldered" is usually associated with plated wares, not sterling.
I have a Mappin & Webb silver tray with Mappin & Webb at the center, and upper case H within a rhombus on the left and an old English font style V within a shield on the right. Right under Mapping & Webb, there is Prince's Plate, and below is the code w16062 . Would you be able to tell me anything about this?
Mappin & Webb is a very old manufacturer of silver items. It dates all the way back to 1775 and is still in business today. Your tray is silver plate. The term "Prince's Plate" was used from about 1890 to 1900 (can't be precise). The code w16062 would be a pattern number. The other symbols may nail the date down more specifically, but I can't find a code index to match it to. Luckily, as I said, Mappin & Webb is still in business. You can contact them through their website and simply ask them. I'm sure they have an archive that can help you further identify your tray.
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.
I have a silver piece with marks on them. On the lid .."WN" in a bubble with a tip on the bottom of it, then next to that is an 8 sided box with a whole-body lion. Inside the jewelry box there is another "WN", a crown in an 8-sided box, a lion, a fancy "FS LL" on the bottom. It looks to be sterling. Can you tell me what the hallmarks mean?
It sounds like you have a piece of English sterling. The British format for marking silver is that all removable pieces will have the marks, thus both the lid and the base should bear the same marks. "WN" is most likely the maker's initials. The crown is the city mark, it stands for Sheffield. The lion is the sterling mark. "WN" may be William Needham, who worked out of Sheffield. I wasn't sure what the rest of the letters are. There should be a date letter...the "Fancy F" maybe? The date code will be only one letter. Not sure what the rest is, the "S LL" It may be a monogram of the owners initials. Hope that helps.
What does it mean if you have the two hallmarks marks, and then a bell and, then two arms lifting a weight?
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.
What is the Capitol letter Z on my Royal PCO cake/pie server signify?
Royal PCO usually makes silverplate. The letter "Z" could be either a pattern designation code or if it is engraved, the initials of a previous owner.
I have a large silver tray with a cursive N in the middle of the top but I don't see any other markings to identify if it's sterling silver or plated. Have you, the writer of this article, seen this silver hallmark before?
If the letter "N" is on the top of the tray it is a monogram...an initial of the original owner's name. Hallmarks are usually found on the bottom, except for French sterling silver. The French like to hide their hallmarks among the decorations. They are very small and difficult to find. Look your piece over very carefully in good light. If it's very old, the marks may have mostly worn off.
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?
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
I have what looks like an antique silver plated (possibly copper) serving tray. There are four initials on the back. I can’t find any information on it. It looks like a "W" or some design followed by "B, S" and either a "C" or "G." Do you know what it is?
Without seeing the mark it would be really hard to determine what this is. If you click on my name at the top of the article, you will see a little window pop up and at the bottom, it says "Contact the Author". Click on that and send me a message. It will go to my email, and then I can give you my email to send me a picture of the mark. I'm happy to help, but I need to see it.
I have a large sterling silver sugar bowl with no lid. There are markings on the top, a lion and some animal head. the markings in the middle, I can not tell what they are. At the bottom is a lady's head and I believe the letter a next to it. Can you tell me how old it might be?
I can give you a date range, but I can't tell you the exact age without the date code. The date code would be a single letter inside a shape...like a square. It sounds like this piece may be from London (the "animal head"). The woman's head may be a tax mark, called the "duty mark". The duty mark was used from 1785-1890. Since the duty mark is a woman's head, that would be for Queen Victoria who reigned from 1838-1890. To find a more specific date, match up your date mark with the London date marks listed on various websites, like 925/1000.co
I have a teapot that has “England” and a shell stamped on the bottom. I can not find any information online as to what the brand is. Any ideas?
There is one possibility. The British company Ellis-Barker Silver Co. used a shell to mark some of their wares in 1912. Look at the marks for this company at 925/1000.com to see if it matches up.
I have a sterling silver piece with 3 symbols of lion, scissors and the third I can’t identify. Can I send you, the writer of this article, a picture in order to identify my sterling silver?
Yes. At the top of the article, you can click on "contact the author". That will send me an email. I can give you instructions from there.
I found a serving spoon found in Scotland. The marks are: Eagle, L, crown, cross, R. What do the symbols mean?
The meaning of symbols in silver hallmarks vary according to their country of origin. In America, only the letters would have any significance, usually as the initials of the maker. In England, the letters can be both the initials of the maker, and a date mark in its own cartouche. The eagle in American silver would be just a design or trademark symbol. The eagle could mean Mexico or Portugal as a place of origin. Check the World Hallmark section of the website The Encyclopedia of Silver Marks to see if you can find anything that matches up. I have been unable to identify your mark.
I have a fork that has a heraldic lion with a flag and a two-headed serpent. Can you help me identify it?
I am not familiar with that mark. I looked at what I could on the silver marks website but didn't find anything like what you describe. You can dig around on the Encyclopedia of Silver Marks website if you like. You might have better luck, since you are looking at it, and I can't see it.
I have a teapot with what looks like a two-headed lion holding a W. I can't find any info on it at all. It also says 2162A 11/2 pints. Can I identify the provenance of my teapot?
Yes! Your teapot was made by the Whiting Manufacturing Co. out of New York. They were in business between 1866 to1926. The number mark, 2162A is a pattern number. The 1 1/2 pints is the volume of liquid the pot holds. If it is not marked "sterling", then it is silverplate.
I am trying to identify the hallmark on a sugar sifter. They are; a lady's head, a lion, 3 towers, and possibly the letter G. Can you tell me what they mean?
Yes. You have a piece of British sterling silver. The lady's head is the monarch, Queen Victoria. That mark was used from 1838 to 1890. The lion stands for sterling. The "G" is most likely the date mark. The 3 towers are the town assay mark. Two towns used towers in their marks. Newcastle has an arranges them in an upsidedown triangle (2 on top, 1 on the bottom). All the towers look the same. Exeter also uses towers, but they look different. There is a tall tower in the center with two flanking smaller towers. You will have to determine which town you marks match, then you can go to the date mark charts on a site like 925/1000.com, and try to match up your "G" with the ones on the town date chart to find out what date it was made.
There should also be some other initials somewhere on the piece. Those would be the maker's initials. You can find them also on the website I mentioned. Good luck.
I have a silver emblem with a lion a capital Z and a sideways anchor. Any thoughts of how old it is?
It would be impossible to tell the date, without identifying the maker first. That sounds like a partial list of British silver marks. It is missing the maker's initials though. You could go to the Encyclopedia of Silver Marks website and look up the "Z" on their date mark list for Birmingham. You might be able to match it up. If you do, that would most likely be your date.
I have a serving spoon. It has a crown with capital EPin a shield and gothic stamped letters D or T, Y&S, and a capital B in a box. It is engraved with "JEW" I think on the front. Can you help me figure out what this means please?
Hi, I can help you with some of this. Your spoon is likely silverplate. "EP" is a symbol often used on silverplate. It means "electroplate". The other initials are maker's initials, which I have not been able to identify. The letters "JEW" on the front are the previous owners monogram. I hope that helps.
I have some stirrup cups. The only mark that I see on them is 95% on the back of the heads. Where would the maker be marked?
95% is a very odd marking. I'm not sure what that means. Other stirrup cups I've seen have maker's marks just under the rim of the cup, on the outside. I would go over your cups with a good magnifying glass, to see if you can find any more markings. French marks are VERY tiny and usually hidden in the design. English marks tend to be more prominent, in easy to find places. Many stirrup cups are made of pewter but would be marked "pewter", not 95%.
I have a ring marked "TI M Sterling" what does the "TI M" mean? It also has another quite long mark but it has been worn away so I can't read it
The "TI" is likely the maker's initials. I can't find them referenced in any of the websites that list jewelry maker's marks. I don't know what the "M" means; could be a style or size indicator.
I have a coffee and tea set with GOWLAND & GRANT Sunderland stamped on the bottom along with the number 8579 and a symbol that looks like a genie lamp. Can you tell me its approximate age?
I can't give you an exact date or details, but I can tell you what I found on the internet. Gowland & Grant was a retailer in Sunderland, England. I found an auction for a Silver Salver that had the stamp. The auction house stated that it was from 1927. They did not make the piece; they are the retailers. It was common for high-end sellers to have fine pieces stamped with their name. The number you describe is most likely a pattern number. All the pieces of the set would have consecutive numbers showing that they belonged in a set of that pattern style. I found a "genie's lamp" stamp. A maker called Robert & Belks used it, but I can't find any information on that maker.
What sterling piece has a crown, the letters L, S, and a tiger on it?
A crown is a mark for Sheffield England. I can't find a maker with the initials L. S. for Sheffield though. Are you sure the tiger isn't a lion? British sterling is marked with a lion. You'll have to go to the online encyclopedia of silver marks website to try and match your mark with one listed in their extensive library.
The marks A1 R P N S S on British sterling silver I know. A1 is supposed to be of high quality, but I can't find a lion stamp or anything like that. Any ideas as to if it is actually sterling? And if so, why does it not have the lion?
A1 is usually a mark found on silverplate. I doubt that what you have is sterling. It is most likely American made, but I have never seen or heard of those other initials, nor can I find them on the website I use for checking. So sorry, but that one will remain a mystery.
I have an English coin silver serving spoon that has only 2 hallmarks. Does coin silver have only two marks?
Yes. It would not have the full array of marks, since it is just coin silver. It is also possible that it is American coin silver. American makers often used marks that mimicked those of England.
What is an English hallmark that looks like a candelabra?
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.
I have a small boat-shaped dish with JC in a shield and STGSIL. Where could it be from and what date?
There is a maker out of Boston, Mass. named John Coburn. He lived from 1725 - 1803. If you truly have a piece of Revolutionary War era, American silver, it could be quite valuable. You will have to check your mark with his known marks to verify it. Go to the Encyclopedia of Silver Marks website. You will find him listed alphabetically, under the letter "C", in American Silver Marks.
What does an anchor RPNS then 7/8 PINT mark mean on my British Sterling Silver Hallmark?
The anchor and initials are a maker's mark. The 7/8 pint is the size of the item, and/or the quantity of liquid it holds. The "NS" in the initial mark sometimes stands for "nickel silver" plating. I'm wondering if this could be a piece of pewter plated in nickel silver? But, honestly, I'm just guessing. I couldn't find any marks to match.
I have an antique snuff box with the engraving. WND with the n in a triangle. What does this mean?
Those letters are most likely either a monogram of the original owners initials, or the maker's initials. If the snuff box is a family piece, you may be able to trace who it belonged to, with a little digging into family records. I was unable to find any known maker that matched your description though.
I have a chalice with j f with a crown underneath f-p n-s ?
I am wondering if "f-p-n-s" is actually "e-p-n-s"? E-P-N-S stands for Electroplate over nickle silver. I cannot find anything for the initials JF though. Nickle silver was used for a base material for a while, often in Germany, and some in the US. It is a white metal that doesn't show the wear if the silver gets worn and thin.
I have a little silver box that my sister bought at some point. It has "made in England" stamped on the bottom along with a little symbol that almost looks like a chalice or menorah. It's engraved on the inside of the lid, and I was wondering if there was a way to find out what part of England it came from?
The Barker-Ellis Silver Co. (known as Ellis-Barker in the US) used the Menorah mark from 1912 into the early 1930s. They were based in Birmingham, England. Your piece is silverplate.
I recently came across a trinket box, it is hinged and footed. There are cherubs on the front and back and the underside is stamped STERLING with 3 marks - S C and a 6 point star, can you tell me what that means?
Sterling means that the box is made of sterling silver. SC and the star are maker's marks, though I don't know the name of the maker. They usually represent the maker's initials or company name.
I have a teapot that dates 1906. On the botton, there is a mark with the letters "JE" and "SS." Is this pot sterling?
Without any other marks on it, it doesn't look like it would be sterling. Are the initials and date stamped into the metal or engraved (cut into)? I can't find any makers with those initials, and most makers don't just put a date on their wares, unless it is coded...like in British sterling. I suspect that, if this is engraved, it is a wedding gift and bears the initials of the bride and groom and the date of their marriage. Is this a family piece? If so, you might be able to make sense of it with some family research.
I have a spoon with an "A EP" and a crown over it. Any idea what it means?
Your little spoon doesn't seem to be made by the same maker as the bowl, and it is silverplate. The "EP" usually means "electroplate". The "A" usually also means that the piece is plated. Interestingly, the crown over the "EP" was an attempt by makers of plated wares to associate their items with the sterling goods coming out of Sheffield, England. A law was passed in the mid-1880s that prohibited this deception, but makers largely ignored it, and used the crown with "EP" all the way up until 1895. The letter "M" is likely the maker, but I couldn't find who this was.
I have a silver coffee pot and a teapot with ebony wood handles. They were made in India and the only mark I find is the # 2 stamped on the bottom. They are plain and simple, but one's head is slightly larger than the other. They are hinged. Very close to English ones I've seen. If there is anyway to attach pictures please let me know?
Your pots are most likely silverplate. Sterling would have many more marks on it. The #2 is most likely a pattern number. Unfortunately, there is no way to post pictures on this website. However, you can contact me using the "contact author" button on the article. I can give you instructions from there as to how to get pictures to me.
I have a sterling silver hand mirror that has the marking of the outline to a four-sided, tall diamond, and in the middle is the letter "B" capitalized. Do you know where/who/what this means?
As to where and what, you have a piece of American-made sterling silver. The mirror would be a part of a larger vanity set that would include matching brushes and a comb. Often these sets also include little pots of various sizes and shapes for creams and make-up. As for who, specifically? Unfortunately, this is an unknown maker. I've seen pictures of it in other forums, and no one seems to know who the maker is. He is not in any reference books.
I have a bracelet that has RB Ltd and lion on text, "he" links, and the clasp with a pad lock has silver stamped on it. I am wondering if it is silver?
Anything that just says "silver" is most likely not sterling, but plated.
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?
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.
I have a silver and pearl ring with some marks I cant locate meanings on. There is a symbol that looks like an upside-down, backwards lowercase j, with a dot center-right to make it look like a lowercase f. There is also an A. Then 85. Then STERLING. Can you help me identify this jewelers mark?
I'm not as well on jewelry marks. The marks are likely either maker's marks or engraved initials of the owner. There are a lot of resources online that you can look at to see if you can match it up. Try Illusion Jewels. They have a pretty big library of marks.
I found a Sheffield shell-shaped tray with what appears to be a boar engraved on the top of the handle. Do you know how old it is based on that?
No. I have to have a full description of all the hallmarks. Hallmarks are not engraved, they are stamped into the metal when it is being made. An engraved image is merely decorative and may have some meaning to the original owner, but not to anyone else.
I have a spoon and do not know if it's silver. Can you help me determine if it is?
Check the back of the spoon handle. If it has just a name, like Oneida, or Community Plate, than it is silverplate. Real silver items are usually marked either with a number denoting how much silver it is made from, like 925, 800, or 925/1000, or it will say sterling on it. British silver is marked with a lion that is walking, as described in my article above. Other countries use other marks. Check the list on websites like The Encyclopedia of Silver Marks for more information.
I have a Cheltenham and Company, LTD item marked "made in England". It has unicorns on each side standing in an upright position, in a oval shape. I can't find anything on it . Do you know anything about it? Is it real silver or not ?
Everything that I can find about that company says that they primarily make silverplate. Since your piece doesn't have the walking lion, or any of the other normal sterling marks, It is silverplate.
I have a fruit knife with the monarchs head, crown, L, lion, JYC. Can I have an approximate date, and the maker for this, if possible?
Hi, your fruit knife was made by J.Y.C John Yeomans Cowlishaw Market Street, Sheffield. To find the exact year, you need to know what shape the letter "L" is. Is it Gothic, old English, Roman? Since I can't see it, please go to the website Encyclopedia of Silver Marks. Click on British at the top menu. Scroll down to Sheffield and click on it. There is a date letter table on the right. Click on it and match up the "L" on your piece with one of the "L's" on the table. There is your date.
Can an English silver sugar bowl with hallmarks on the base (lion, anchor - letter G) also have “0350” and coin markings?
No. Your sugar bowl is neither English, nor sterling. It is the hallmark of Gorham, an American silversmith. American companies often used recognized English hallmarking symbols in their own hallmark designs. In this case, the lion and the anchor was used. The use of these symbols in American marks was utilized in order to deceive the consumer...somewhat...into thinking that it is English, or sterling, when it is neither. If you look closely, the lion is not a walking lion (which is the English symbol for sterling), it is rearing up on it's hind legs. The anchor is just an anchor. It doesn't mean "assayed in Birmingham". As for the "coin silver" mark, your piece is still solid silver, just of a lesser quality than sterling.
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?
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.
I was given a manicure set for Christmas. I'm not sure what type of silver it is, or even if it is silver for that matter! I have found 2 marks on the scissors that came with the set. It has a crown on it but it doesn't have the detail other crowns have and there is JD on it beneath the crown and neither are in a cartouche. Could you please help me identify this set?
Vanity pieces, if they are sterling silver, would generally only use silver in the handles. Silver is too soft to be used in things like scissors or nail files. Those would be made of steel, and possibly plated with silver. Sterling is usually marked as such, so I doubt that your pieces are sterling. I haven't been able to find anything with the marks you talk about, sadly.
I have some shell-shaped English silver dishes. They are marked with a three-leaf clover on the back. Are they sterling silver?
Are you sure they are "English" silver? English silver doesn't have a clover mark, although there is an American silversmith with a clover mark. Look up Howard Sterling Company on the Encyclopedia of Silver Marks website. It is an American company, not English. See if your mark matches their mark.
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