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12-May-2017 12:29

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The hallmarking of Irish silver began towards the middle of the 17th century.

The mark of origin is the Harp Crowned and it appears with a date letter and maker’s mark. Simply learn to recognise those Antique Silver Hallmarks.

Because of possible confusion with the Crown mark used after 1798, (as the hallmark for 18ct gold), the Sheffield assay mark was changed on January 1st 1975 for a rose.

Which had incidentally, been used as the gold assay mark for Sheffield when the Assay Office was first entitled to test gold, after March 1st 1904.

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For example, due to the very simplistic font currently in use, it was decided that the letter ‘i’ should be omitted in 2008, with ‘j’ used instead and ‘l’ used in 2010.

A false silver hallmark has always been treated with the utmost severity by the law and in the past a silversmith was pilloried for their first offence, where they would be pelted with rotten fruit and vegetables.



A typical set of antique British silver hallmarks showing left to right. the cycles of date letters were usually in strings of 20 and each cycle was.… continue reading »


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