ASCAS Association of Small Collectors of Antique Silver ASSOCIATION OF SMALL COLLECTORS OF ANTIQUE SILVER
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by Giovanni Ciceri
 
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INTRODUCTION
This is the first of a series of articles dealing with British hallmarks. Each article will be focused on a specific cycle of British hallmarks, not taken in a chronological order, beginning from the London Assay Office.
At the London Assay Office, each series refers to 20 years, starting with the date letter "a" and ending with the date letter "u" or "v". Only twenty letters of the alphabet have been used, excluding: j, v (or u), w, x, y and z. Note that the last letter of each cycle can be an "u" or a "v", but this is probably due to the fact that in the classic Latin language and alphabet there was no difference between "u" and "v". There is only an exception in the 18th century, prior the introduction of the Britannia standard (1696) (note 1 ), when the cycle lasted 19 years and ended with the letter "t". Also the next cycle (from 1697 onward) lasted 19 years, but in this case all the 20 date letters have been used.
Each article will present real hallmarks stuck on wrought silver plate of the current standard (sterling, 925/1000 and/or Britannia, 958.4/1000).
Although the procedure followed from time to time on hallmarking the silver objects is not the scope of these articles, I will present and comment, for the same date letter, different examples of actual hallmarks as found on various items.
Details on the British hallmarking system, including the meaning of each hallmark struck on wrought plate are available at
http://www.argentinglesi.com/marchi-garanziaing.php
while facsimile of British hallmarks can be found at
http://www.silvercollection.it/englishsilverhallmarks.html

BRITISH HALLMARKS - A CYCLE AT A TIME (I)
LONDON HALLMARKS: 1776-1795 (XVI CYCLE)

In the following tables are presented several examples of the XVI cycle of London Hallmarks. This cycle begins with a small Roman "a" as date letter for 1776/1777 and ends with a small Roman "u" for 1795/1796 (note 2).
The punch enclosing the date letter is a shield with a pointed base with chamfered upper corners (clipped off), but occasionally it can be found with a rounded base. According to Jackson, date letters "f" and "k" are usually found in a shield with pointed base, date letters "g", and "h" are present in a shield with rounded base; date letter "i" has been found only in a rounded base shield, while all the other date letters are contained only in a pointed base shield. The examples reported below show many examples of date letters found in both variants of the shield. Furthermore, it seems that the round base shield was preferably struck when the leopard head mark was omitted. This practise is documented since the last years of the 18th century until about 1810. During this period the London town marks (the crowned leopard head) was often omitted on small items like teaspoons, condiment spoons, sugar tongs, etc., probably to contrast the practice of duty dodging (see David McKinley article The Background To "Duty Dodgers"). The leopard head is usually omitted on detachable parts of some items like tea pots, coffee pots and little baskets belonging to epergnes. Since 1810, to contrast the practice of duty dodging, hallmarks on flatware were usually struck at the top of the stem (apart for decorated patterns), with the lion passant put at 90 with respect to the other marks.

Jackson reports that the lion passant is enclosed in a punch similar to that of the date letter, with the upper corners rounded or clipped off. Actually, in some of the examples illustrated below the lion passant is enclosed in an oval stamp. Examining these examples, the conclusion is that, possibly, the oval stamp was preferably used when the leopard head mark was omitted.

The leopard head is enclosed in a plain oblong punch with rounded base and upper corners clipped off. Jackson reports the 1776 mark exception, where the corners are not chamfered. From the reported examples this assumption is not completely evident.
At this time the lion passant is "guardant" and the leopard head is crowned.

This cycle is characterised by the introduction of the duty mark on 1 December, 1784 (it will remain in use until 30 April, 1890). The mark (the head of the reigning sovereign in profile as it appeared on contemporary coins) was struck on gold and silver plate items assayed in England and Scotland (note 3 , with the exception of a limited number of small articles. From 1 December, 1784, until 28 May, 1786, the head of George III was not in cameo, as it afterwards was, but in intaglio (the die sinker had engraved the punch as the mark was required to appear in the silver). When the punch was struck on the silver piece the sovereign profile appeared sunk and reversed. The head, incuse, looking to the left appears with the date-letter "i" for 1784/5 and "k" for 1785/6, after which it is always in cameo (looking to the right until the reign of Queen Victoria) as on the coins of the period. The intaglio head is in an oblong stamp with the corners clipped off, but from 1786 the stamp was oval. As the duty mark was not struck before 1 December, 1784, and the date letters were changed on 29 May of that year, until this date the letter "i" was struck without the duty mark and afterwards was accompanied with the duty mark. A duty draw-back mark (the incuse standing figure of the Britannia) was used between 2 December 1784 and 24 July 1785 on exported piece - allowing the maker to "draw back" the duty paid. The duty drawback mark is very rare to find.

The introductory page of this article, dealing with "Determining the date on London Assay Office Marks - 1776-1795" was published in December 2010 Newsletter click here
London 1776/1777
London 1776/1777 mark: Richard Rugg II London 1776/1777 mark: William Abdy
Richard Rugg II (left) - William Abdy (right)
Grouped hallmarks with the pointed base variant punch enclosing the date letter (not evident in William Abdy mark) as can be found (e.g.) underneath a salver
London 1776/1777 mark: William Sumner I & Richard Crossley
William Sumner I & Richard Crossley
"Stressed hallmarks", as can be found on stem marked spoons (mainly Hanoverian pattern). At this time each mark is randomly struck one by one. The effect (stressed hallmarks) is due to the reshaping of the spoon stem after hallmarking, to remediate the damage caused by this operation
London 1776/1777 mark: Walter Brind London 1776/1777 mark: Jacob Marsh or John Moore London 1776/1777 mark: Thomas Wallis
Walter Brind (left) - Jacob Marsh or John Moore (center) - Thomas Wallis (right)
Hallmarks struck in circle as can be found underneath of tankards, mugs, coffee and tea pots. The date letter is enclosed in the pointed base variant punch
London 1777/1778
London 1777/1778 mark: John Schofield London 1777/1778 mark: William Turton
John Schofield (left) - William Turton(right)
Grouped hallmarks with the pointed base variant punch enclosing the date letter, as can be found (e.g.) underneath a salver
London 1777/1778 mark: Thomas Chawner London 1777/1778 mark: Stephen Joyce
Thomas Chawner (left) - Stephen Joyce (right)
"Stressed hallmarks" on stem marked spoons. Note that hallmarks are struck randomly
London 1778/1779
London 1778/1779 mark: John Schofield London 1778/1779 mark: Richard Carter, Daniel Smith and Robert Sharpe
John Schofield (left) - Richard Carter, Daniel Smith and Robert Sharpe (right)
Grouped hallmarks with the rounded base variant punch enclosing the date letter
London 1778/1779 mark: Hester Bateman
Hester Bateman
Hallmarks struck in circle as can be found underneath a cup or mug, with the pointed base variant punch enclosing the date letter
London 1779/1780
London 1779/1780 mark: Stephen Adams I
Stephen Adams I
"Stressed hallmarks" on stem marked spoons
London 1779/1780 mark: George Smith II
George Smith II
Hallmarks struck in circle as can be found underneath a cast pedestal base of a caster. The limited space available to stuck the hallmarks around the maker mark and the rough finish of the piece often makes difficult to read the hallmarks
London 1780/1781
London 1780/1781 mark: Charles Aldridge & Henry Green
Charles Aldridge & Henry Green
Grouped hallmarks. The date letter seems to have the rounded base variant punch
London 1780/1781 mark: George Smith II London 1780/1781 mark: George Smith II
Charles Aldridge & Henry Green (left) - Charles Wright (right)
Hallmarks randomly struck in circle. Note that, in the example on the left, the maker mark has not a central position
London 1781/1782
London 1781/1782 mark: Benjamin Mordecai London 1781/1782 mark: Hester Bateman
Benjamin Mordecai (left) - Hester Bateman (right)
Grouped hallmarks with the rounded base variant punch enclosing the date letter and the oval punch enclosing the lion passant.
London 1781/1782 mark: Robert Hennell London 1781/1782 mark: Robert Innes
Robert Hennell (left) - Robert Innes (right)
Grouped hallmarks with the pointed base variant punch enclosing the date letter
London 1781/1782 mark: Hester Bateman
Hester Bateman
Grouped hallmarks on a tea spoon stem. The leopard head is deliberately missing (to contrast duty dodging). For many of these examples, the date letter and the lion passant are present in the rounded base oval punch variants respectively
London 1781/1782 mark: Thomas Shepherd
Thomas Shepherd
An unusual example of grouped hallmarks randomly struck. The date letter is in the pointed base punch
London 1781/1782 mark: Joshua Jackson
Joshua Jackson
Hallmarks randomly struck in circle with the date letter in the pointed base punch
London 1782/1783
London 1782/1783 mark: Elizabeth Jones
Elizabeth Jones
Grouped hallmarks with the pointed base variant punch enclosing the date letter
London 1782/1783 mark: Hester Bateman
Hester Bateman
Grouped hallmarks with the rounded base variant punch enclosing the date letter
London 1782/1783 mark: Thomas Liddiard
Thomas Liddiard
Grouped hallmarks on a tea spoon stem. The leopard head is deliberately missing (to contrast duty dodging). For many of these examples, the date letter and the lion passant are present in the rounded base and in the oval punch variants respectively
London 1782/1783 mark: William Plummer
William Plummer
Typical hallmarking underneath a drum (oval at this period) teapot. Hallmarks are struck with small punches at the corner of a rectangle and not around the maker mark. It is also evident the sign left by the scraping for assaying the silver
London 1783/1784
London 1783/1784 mark: John Schofield
London 1783/1784 mark: Thomas Northcote
London 1783/1784 mark: Thomas Wallis II
John Schofield (top) - Thomas Northcote (middle) - Thomas Wallis II (bottom)
Grouped hallmarks with the rounded base variant punch enclosing the date letter
London 1783/1784 mark: Richard Rugg
Richard Rugg
Grouped hallmarks with the pointed base variant punch enclosing the date letter. Note that, in all the reported examples, the hallmarks are struck either on the left or on the right of the maker mark (the first to be struck on each piece), but with the same sequence (date letter, lion passant and leopard head).
London 1783/1784 mark: John Lambe
John Lambe
Hallmarks struck in circle as can be found underneath a loving cup
London 1784/1785
London 1784/1785 mark: Richard Crossley London 1784/1785 mark: Hester Bateman
Richard Crossley (left) - Hester Bateman (right)
Grouped hallmarks with the rounded base variant punch enclosing the date letter. Date letter "i" is always found in a rounded base punch. Missing of the duty mark, the two pieces have been hallmarked before or on 1 December, 1784
London 1784/1785 mark: Abraham Barrier London 1784/1785 mark: Thomas Ellis
Abraham Barrier (left) - Thomas Ellis (right)
Grouped hallmarks with. The presence of the incuse duty mark means that the two pieces have been hallmarked after 1 December, 1784
London 1784/1785 mark: Hester Bateman
Hester Bateman
Grouped hallmarks on a tea spoon stem. The leopard head is deliberately missing (to contrast duty dodging). For many of these examples, the date letter and the lion passant are present in the rounded base and in the oval punch variants respectively
London 1784/1785 mark: Samuel Godbehere London 1784/1785 mark: Samuel Meriton II
Samuel Godbehere (left) - Samuel Meriton II (right)
Hallmarks struck in circle, as can be found underneath a loving cup or a caster. Note the central position of the maker mark. The first example has the date letter in a round base shield and the second one in a pointed base shield
London 1785/1786
London 1785/1786 mark: Stephen Adams II London 1785/1786 mark: Hester Bateman
Stephen Adams II (left) - Hester Bateman (right)
Grouped hallmarks with the rounded base variant punch enclosing the date letter. The duty mark is struck randomly, either at the right or at the left of the other hallmarks and often not aligned with them.
London 1785/1786 mark: Thomas Chawner
Thomas Chawner
Grouped hallmarks with the pointed base variant punch enclosing the date letter
London 1785/1786 mark: James Perry or James Plumpton or James Peacock London 1785/1786 mark: Thomas Northcote
James Perry or James Plumpton or James Peacock (left) - Thomas Northcote (right)
Grouped hallmarks on a tea spoon stem. The leopard head is deliberately missing (to contrast duty dodging). For many of these example, the date letter and the lion passant are present in the rounded base and in the oval punch variants respectively
London 1785/1786 mark: John Lee II (with a later stamp of a retailer?)
John Lee II (with a later stamp of a retailer?)
Hallmarks struck in circle, with the pointed base variant punch enclosing the date letter, as can be found underneath a loving cup or a caster. Note the central position of the maker mark and the additional marks probably struck later
London 1785/1786 mark: William Vincent
William Vincent
Typical hallmarking underneath the pedestal base of a sugar basket
London 1785/1786 mark: Charles Aldridge & Henry Green
Charles Aldridge & Henry Green
Rare example of a fully hallmarked item (a lemon strainer). There are six hallmarks struck in circle, including the duty draw-back mark (the incuse standing figure of the Britannia) which was in use between 2 December 1784 and 24 July 1785 on exported pieces
London 1785/1786 mark: Richard Crossley
Hester Bateman (not shown)(from http://www.silversugartongs.com/)
Duty draw-back mark struck on sugar tongs
London 1786/1787
London 1786/1787 mark: Richard Crossley
London 1786/1787 mark: George Smith (III) & William Fearn
London 1786/1787 mark: Hester Bateman
Richard Crossley (top) - George Smith (III) & William Fearn (middle) - Hester Bateman (bottom)
Grouped hallmarks. The duty mark is now in cameo and represents the head of the reigning sovereign in profile, as it appears on contemporary coins. Contrary to the incuse duty marks, the cameo is usually struck on the right side of the hallmarking series (with the exception of the maker mark) and is aligned with the other marks. Note that, in all the reported examples, hallmarks are struck either on the left or on the right of the maker mark, but with the same sequence (lion passant, leopard head, date letter and duty mark). The sequence differs from that found on items hallmarked before this date
London 1786/1787 mark: George Brasier
George Brasier
Typical hallmarking underneath the pedestal base of a sugar basket
London 1786/1787 mark: John Robbins
John Robbins
Hallmarks struck in circle underneath a drum teapot. Hallmarks (including the maker mark) are struck with small punches around the duty mark
London 1786/1787 mark: Peter Carter
Peter Carter
Another example of hallmarks struck with small punches at the corner of a rectangle around the duty mark underneath a drum tea caddy.
London 1786/1787 mark: maker indistinct
Maker indistinct
The Leopard head is omitted on a tea spoon. The date letter and the lion passant are present in the rounded base and in the oval punch variants respectively.
London 1787/1788
London 1787/1788 mark: Henry Chawner
London 1787/1788 mark: William Plummer
London 1787/1788 mark: Hester Bateman
Henry Chawner (top) - William Plummer (middle) - Hester Bateman (bottom)
Grouped hallmarks with the pointed base variant punch enclosing the date letter. Note that, in all the reported examples, hallmarks are struck either on the left or on the right of the maker mark, but with the same sequence (lion passant, leopard head, date letter and duty mark)
London 1787/1788 mark: Hester Bateman
Hester Bateman
Example of partially randomly struck hallmarks, as can be found underneath the pedestal base of a neo-classic coffee pot or sugar basket.
London 1787/1788 mark: John Lambe
John Lambe
The date letter and the lion passant are present in the rounded base and in the oval punch variants respectively.
London 1788/1789
London 1788/1789 mark: Samuel Godbehere & Edward Wigan
London 1788/1789 mark: Thomas Ollivant
London 1788/1789 mark: William Sumner I
Samuel Godbehere & Edward Wigan (top) - Thomas Ollivant (middle) - William Sumner I (bottom)
Grouped hallmarks with the pointed base variant punch enclosing the date letter. Note that, in all the reported examples, hallmarks are struck either on the left or on the right of the maker mark, but with the same sequence (lion passant, leopard head, date letter and duty mark)
London 1788/1789 mark: Hester Bateman
Richard Crossley
Grouped hallmarks on a tea spoon stem. The leopard head is deliberately missing. For many of these examples, the date letter and the lion passant are present in the rounded base and in the oval punch variants respectively
London 1788/1789 mark: Charles Chesterman II
Charles Chesterman II
Hallmarks struck in circle, with the pointed base variant punch enclosing the date letter, as can be found underneath an open salt cellar. Note the central position of the maker mark
London 1789/1790
London 1789/1790 mark: Hester Bateman London 1789/1790 mark: George Gray (overstruck on Hester Bateman) London 1789/1790 mark: Joseph Scammel London 1789/1790 mark: William Pitts London 1789/1790 mark: William Stroud
Hester Bateman (top row, left) - George Gray (overstruck on Hester Bateman) (top row, right)
Joseph Scammel (middle row, left) - William Pitts (middle row, right)
William Stroud (bottom row)
Grouped hallmarks with the pointed base variant punch enclosing the date letter. Note that, in all the reported examples, hallmarks are struck either on the left or on the right of the maker mark, but with the same sequence (lion passant, leopard head, date letter and duty mark)
London 1789/1790 mark: George Smith III & William Fearn
George Smith III & William Fearn
Grouped hallmarks on a tea spoon stem. The leopard head is deliberately missing. For many of these examples, the date letter and the lion passant are present in the rounded base and in the oval punch variants respectively
London 1789/1790 mark: Henry Chawner
Henry Chawner
Unusual hallmarking underneath the pedestal base of a sugar basket. Hallmarks are struck part on the right and part on the left of the maker mark and not in the usual sequence. Note the pointed base variant punch enclosing the date letter
London 1789/1790 mark: Robert Hennel London 1789/1790 mark: William Stroud
Robert Hennel (left) - William Stroud (right)
Typical hallmarking underneath the pedestal base of a sugar basket. Note the rounded base variant punch enclosing the date letter
London 1789/1790 mark: George Gray (overstruck on Hester Bateman)
George Gray (overstruck on Hester Bateman)
Hallmarks struck in circle, with the pointed base variant punch enclosing the date letter, as can be found underneath an open salt cellar. Note the central position of the maker mark
London 1790/1791
London 1790/1791 mark: Elizabeth Jones London 1790/1791 mark: George Gray London 1790/1791 mark: Peter & Jonathan Bateman London 1790/1791 mark: Thomas Wallis II
Elizabeth Jones (top row, left) - George Gray (top row, right)
Peter & Jonathan Bateman (bottom row, left) - Thomas Wallis II (bottom row, right)
Grouped hallmarks with the pointed base variant punch enclosing the date letter. Note that, in all the reported examples, hallmarks are struck either on the left or on the right of the maker mark, but with the same sequence (lion passant, leopard head, date letter and duty mark)
London 1790/1791 mark: Hester Bateman London 1790/1791 mark: (maker mark missing)
Hester Bateman (left) - (maker mark missing) (right)
Grouped hallmarks on a tea spoon stem. The leopard head is deliberately missing. For many of these examples, the date letter and the lion passant are present in the rounded base and in the oval punch variants respectively
London 1790/1791 mark: Walter Brind
Walter Brind
Typical hallmarking underneath the pedestal base of a sugar basket. Note the pointed base variant punch enclosing the date letter and the unusual sequence of the other hallmarks
London 1790/1791 mark: Hester Bateman
Hester Bateman
Hallmarks struck in circle, with the pointed base variant punch enclosing the date letter as can be found underneath an open salt cellar. Note the central position of the maker mark
London 1791/1792
London 1791/1792 mark: George Smith London 1791/1792 mark: Henry Chawner
George Smith (left) - Henry Chawner (right)
Grouped hallmarks with the pointed base variant punch enclosing the date letter. Note that, in all the reported examples, hallmarks are struck either on the left or on the right of the maker mark, but with the same sequence (lion passant, leopard head, date letter and duty mark)
London 1791/1792 mark: George Smith III & William Fearn
George Smith III & William Fearn
Grouped hallmarks on a tea spoon stem. The leopard head is deliberately missing. For many of these examples, the date letter and the lion passant are present in the rounded base and in the oval punch variants respectively
London 1791/1792 mark: Charles Aldridge
Charles Aldridge
Hallmarks struck around the duty mark underneath a drum tea pot
London 1791/1792 mark: Peter & Anne Bateman
Peter & Anne Bateman
Hallmarks struck in circle, with the pointed base variant punch enclosing the date letter, as can be found underneath an open salt cellar. Note the central position of the maker mark
London 1792/1793
London 1792/1793 mark: John Robins London 1792/1793 mark: Thomas Harper I London 1792/1793 mark: Stephen Adams London 1792/1793 mark: Henry Chawner
John Robins (top row, left) - Thomas Harper I (top row, right)
Stephen Adams (bottom row, left) - Henry Chawner (bottom row, right)
Grouped hallmarks with the pointed base variant punch enclosing the date letter. Note that in all the reported examples hallmarks are struck either on the left or on the right (in one case above) the maker mark, but with the same sequence
London 1792/1793 mark: Henry Chawner
Henry Chawner
Grouped hallmarks with the pointed base variant punch enclosing the date letter. Note the unusual position of the maker mark.
London 1792/1793 mark: William Cattell ?
William Cattell ?
Grouped hallmarks on a salt spoon stem (duty mark partially rubbed). The leopard head is deliberately missing. For many of these examples, the date letter and the lion passant are present in the rounded base and in the oval punch variants respectively
London 1792/1793 mark: Paul Storr
Paul Storr
Hallmarks struck in circle, with the pointed base variant punch enclosing the date letter
London 1793/1794
London 1793/1794 mark: John Wakelin & Robert Garrard
John Wakelin & Robert Garrard
Grouped hallmarks with the rounded base variant punch enclosing the date letter
London 1793/1794 mark: John Mewburn
John Mewburn
Grouped hallmarks with the pointed base variant punch enclosing the date letter
London 1793/1794 mark: John Blake ?
John Blake ?
Grouped hallmarks on a salt spoon stem (duty marks partially rubbed). The leopard head is deliberately missing. For many of these examples, the date letter and the lion passant are present in the rounded base and in the oval punch variants respectively
London 1793/1794 mark: Robert Hennell London 1793/1794 mark: Edward Fernel
Robert Hennell (left) - Edward Fernel (right)
Typical hallmarking underneath the pedestal base of a sugar basket or a neo-classic coffee pot (urn shaped). Note the rounded base variant punch enclosing the date letter
London 1793/1794 mark: Peter & Anne Bateman
Peter & Anne Bateman
Hallmarks struck in circle, with the pointed base variant punch enclosing the date letter
London 1794/1795
London 1794/1795 mark: Pitts & Joseph Preedy London 1794/1795 mark: Solomon Hougham London 1794/1795 mark: Henry Chawner
William Pitts & Joseph Preedy (top row, left) - Solomon Hougham (top row, right)
Henry Chawner (bottom row, left)
Grouped hallmarks with the pointed base variant punch enclosing the date letter. Note that in all the reported examples, the hallmarks are struck either on the left or on the right of the maker mark, but with the same sequence
London 1794/1795 mark: George Smith (II) & Thomas Hayter London 1794/1795 mark: William Eley & William Fearn
George Smith (II) & Thomas Hayter (left) - William Eley & William Fearn (right)
Grouped hallmarks on a salt spoon stem. The leopard head is deliberately missing. For many of these examples, the date letter and the lion passant are present in the rounded base and in the oval punch variants respectively
London 1794/1795 mark: Peter & Anne Bateman
Peter & Anne Bateman
Hallmarks struck in circle, with the pointed base variant punch enclosing the date letter, as can be found underneath a tea pot or an open salt cellar
London 1795/1796
London 1795/1796 mark: George Smith III & William Fearn London 1795/1796 mark: Thomas Ollivant London 1795/1796 mark: Richard Crossley London 1795/1796 mark: Henry Chawner London 1795/1796 mark: Samuel Godbehere & Edward Wigan
George Smith III & William Fearn (top row, left) - Thomas Ollivant (top row, right)
Richard Crossley (middle row, left) - Henry Chawner (middle row, right)
Samuel Godbehere & Edward Wigan ((bottom row, left)
Grouped hallmarks with the pointed base variant punch enclosing the date letter. Note that in all the reported examples hallmarks are struck either on the left or on the right (in one case above) the maker mark, but with the same sequence
London 1795/1796 mark: (maker mark missing)
(maker mark missing)
Grouped hallmarks on a salt spoon stem. The leopard head is deliberately missing. For many of these examples, the date letter and the lion passant are present in the rounded base and in the oval punch variants respectively
ENDNOTE
1 - The current silver standard for silverware was the sterling standard (925/1000) since 1300. Between 1696 and 1720 the Britannia standard (958.4/1000) was compulsory. After 1720 sterling standard was re-introduced, but the Britannia standard was not abolished and left as optional. However, after 1720 a very few number of items have been made in Britannia standard. For more details see the article
"Britannia" silver standard hallmarks in Great Britain

2 - The date letter changed on May of each year, usually in occasion of the Goldsmiths' Patron day (St. Dunstan, May 19), when the wardens were elected. So, each date letter usually refers to two years, but it is common prectice to refer the date letter to the first year only. There is only an exception to this rule: after the introduction of the Britannia Standard in 1697, the court letter "a" was used only from 27 May to 29 May of that year.



REFERENCES
Charles J. Jackson, 1964. English Goldsmiths and their marks - A history of the goldsmiths and plate workers of England, Scotland and Ireland. Second Edition, revised. Dover Publications Inc., New York.

Arthur G. Grimwade, 1976. London goldsmiths 1697-1837: Their marks and lives - from the original registers at Goldsmiths' Hall and other sources.

John Culme, 1986. The Directory of Gold & Silversmiths Jewellers & Allied Traders 1838-1914, voll. I e II - Antique Collectors Club. Woodbridge, Suffolk (UK)

Ian Pickford Silver Flatware, 1983. English, Irish & Scottish 1660-1980. Antique Collectors' Club, Woodbridge, Suffolk (UK)
Giovanni Ciceri
- 2011 -
www.argentinglesi.com