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PAIR OF PEPPER CASTORS - CALCUTTA 1860 - 1914
Material: silver of 916/1000 (mainly silver and zinc
alloy) or 925/000 (sterling standard
Period: 1860 - 1914
Silversmith: H & Co for Hamilton & Company
Crafting method: Mainly hand made
Dimension: Height: 5,6 cm; section 3,7 cm
Weight: 64 and 65 g respectively (total 129 g)
This pair of pepper castors were made in Calcutta (India) by
Hamilton & Company, which was established by Robert Hamilton and
others at the beginning of 19th century. Due to the fact that
the British regulation on hallmarking was not in force in the
British Colonies, immigrated silversmiths were use to mark the
silverware with their trade mark and a series of
pseudo-hallmarks similar to those used in England and Scotland
for sterling silver.
Marks, struck in line underneath the peppers are: H & Co (trade
mark of Hamilton & Company); an elephant and a roman capital A.
These particular hallmarks were in use between 1860 and 1914.
Near the hallmarks there is an engraved sentence which says
Hamilton & Co. Jewellers Calcutta.
The peppers are of very good gauge and mainly hand made. It is
not clear if at the date of crafting of this peppers,
silversmiths working in India were using the former alloy of
916/1000 purity or the sterling standard like in the U.K.
The castors have a plane and essential shape with no decorations,
apart the engraved word PEPPER. Both are gilded inside and they
differ from each other only for the diameter of the holes in the
The overall condition is very good.