need help with a hallmark
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  1. #1
    ca
    Jun 2011
    burlington ontario
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    need help with a hallmark

    i gound this at a salvation army today and when i look this up i get its from chester by clewley & co est 1907
    but when i look at the date letter the 2 closest matches i ger are 1738 and 1913, obviously the the 1913 makes more sense but the 1738 looks like a closer match ,your thoughts?Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    us
    May 2009
    NC USA
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    I donít think thereís any doubt that this is from 1738. The 1913 date code is a shield in 1738 is the beveled corners. Stylistically it is also an 18th-century oil lamp probably whale oil. Amazing find
    Drmad7 likes this.

  3. #3
    ca
    Jun 2011
    burlington ontario
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    does that mean that this company would have made this in 1738? i thought the company was from 1907 ish

  4. #4
    us
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    That part is the perplexing thing. The Mark
    is actually for Grey and Company. The mark is registered in 1903 but it could be the company was much older and just requires a little bit of research.
    Mackaydon likes this.

  5. #5
    us
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    I stand corrected. After further review is clearly a 1913 production based on the city Mark And gate code configuration
    gunsil likes this.

  6. #6
    ca
    Jun 2011
    burlington ontario
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    this is what was on the bottomClick image for larger version. 

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ID:	1852973 now i dont melt any hallmarked items as i like the history but is this rare? worth more than melt? too bad i dont have the top glass,,,,,unless it wasnt made with one

  7. #7
    ca
    Jun 2011
    burlington ontario
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    still has me confused here is a pic of the stamp from the top piece and it is clearly a square with corners cut off and not a sheildClick image for larger version. 

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  8. #8
    us
    Dec 2012
    lower hudson valley, N.Y.
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    The shape of the stamp has nothing to do with the date code. It is the font (style) of the letter itself, and/or capital or lower case that determines the date series. Every 26 years the font of the letters change, that is how to read the date code. JD above stated his first evaluation was incorrect and he is right in that assessment. Different cities or assayers can use stamps with different shape of stamps, but the font must be the same for the year. Maybe Red Coat will come along and explain it better.
    Last edited by gunsil; Jul 30, 2020 at 08:14 PM.
    Ya won't find nuthin' if ya don't hunt

  9. #9
    gb
    Dec 2019
    Surrey
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    It’s very easy to come to completely the wrong conclusion about our date letters for hallmarking unless you understand the intricacies of the system. The web is full of information tables with the potential for misinterpretation.

    The first thing to know is that we have had ten assaying cities over the years but they weren’t all established at the same time and aren’t all still in operation. So for example, the London assay office was founded in 1558 and started with an ‘A’ date letter in that year, whereas Chester wasn’t established until 1701 and began using a letter ‘A’ for that year (for London, 1701 would be an ‘F’ letter).

    Also, it’s not the case that a particular letter comes round every 26 years. Not all the letters of the alphabet were used and missing letters vary from office to office as well as during particular periods. Chester for example used the letter ‘J’ in 1734 but it didn’t come round again until 1847 and then not again until 1909. All of that upsets the sequence for use of letters in a way that’s not uniform across all assay offices.

    The way in which we distinguish what year a letter belongs to for a particular assay office is managed by a combination of the font style of the letter itself in combination with the shape of the cartouche it sits within and also to some extent the style and cartouche shape of the other compulsory marks. That needs to be the case since there aren’t a huge number of sufficiently distinct font styles to choose from (given that the letters are, of necessity, very small).

    The hallmarks on this lamp have the city arms of Chester (a sword with three wheatsheaves) so that’s the assaying office. If we then look at the compulsory set of marks (ignoring the maker’s mark) for Chester in 1738 and 1913, this is what we have.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Note that the cursive ‘N’ is subtly different. For 1913, the terminations scroll back on themselves in a more exaggerated way. Then note that the style of the coat of arms is not the same for the two years, so that establishes a further point of difference. Then look at the cartouches for the lion passant guardant (the sterling mark) and the date letter. The bases for the 1913 cartouches are not flat, but are double-notched such that they have a point sticking out from them.

    BUT… your hallmark doesn’t have those points does it? It’s not because the stamp was weak or because the points have worn away. It’s because there was a variation for a number of years in that cycle when some of the punches in use were produced with a flat based cartouche. Your marks have that stylistic variation. Whatever the reason for that variation, no-one was bothered about it because the hallmark set has other distinguishing features from that used in the 1700s.

    One final thing to note is that there are four marks for the 1738 set but only three marks for the 1913 set. Another point of difference. The ‘extra’ mark is a crowned lion’s head facing. Without background knowledge, you might assume this is a mark for London, since those pesky reference sources on the net tell you that’s the case. Completely wrong. A hallmark won’t have two city marks. The lion’s head was an additional part of the fineness indication for early silver (dating back to 1300) which applied throughout the land. Although it still remained on the statute books as a requirement, it was generally regarded as obsolete and wasn’t rigidly enforced by all assay offices by the time we get to the 1700s. London applied it most rigorously (such that it became associated with the city itself), but it wasn’t until 1856 that a change in the law enabled it to be legally used for any purpose beyond indication of fineness and it then formally became the mark for London.

  10. #10
    Charter Member
    us
    An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

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    Red-Coat,
    If TN gave out Honorable Mentions for narrative responses, you'd have my vote. Outstanding !!
    Don.........
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  11. #11
    gb
    Dec 2019
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    Thank you Don!
    gunsil likes this.

  12. #12
    gb
    Dec 2019
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    Just to add… the first letter of the sponsor’s mark is a ‘G’ not a ‘C’ and it is the mark for Grey & Company as JimDon says, founded in London by William Grey in 1876 and active as Grey & Co from 1886 to 1936. In addition to Chester hallmarks, some of their pieces are Birmingham marked.

    Need to be careful about dates for registration of marks since they’re often incorrectly researched or ambiguously quoted on the web. A company operating from more than one base might have registered their mark at different assay offices and at different times. You have to apply separately for a registration at each office whose services you want to use (and re-new before the 10 year expiry, or re-register if you want to make any changes to the mark)

    I didn't go digging for the actual registrations (because that's a pain) but believe this particular ‘Gy. & Co’ mark was first registered in Chester in 1909 but had been previously registered in London since 1894. Don't know the date for Birmingham.

  13. #13
    us
    Grant Brandenburg

    Jan 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mackaydon View Post
    Red-Coat,
    If TN gave out Honorable Mentions for narrative responses, you'd have my vote. Outstanding !!
    Don.........
    Yeah I believe Red Coat has actually taken in some time and advantage of an actual library filled with written material and documented references from centuries of knowledge, not all found yet on the Google we find so easily accessible for our curiosities. I have a friend who has a thick book of hallmarks on her shelf and I have at time's had to run over and ask to pull it off the shelf to see if I can possibly solve a mystery mark. In that book is so much more information than what is accessible on the WWW in the way of hallmarks. I can only imagine what the world would be had the library of Alexandra hadn't burned to the ground.
    Mackaydon, Red-Coat and Drmad7 like this.

  14. #14
    Charter Member
    us
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    Killer find, congrats!

  15. #15
    ca
    Jun 2011
    burlington ontario
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    thanks for your help, i was hopng it was from 1738 but oh well still have the silver value......Red coat how do you know so much about hallmarks??

 

 
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