Please help ID makers marks
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  1. #1

    Sep 2014
    37
    175 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Please help ID makers marks

    I found this in Mexico on the beach in Costa Maya a couple years back and have been wondering how old this could be. Looks like the top portion of an eating utensil. Not sure on the material it's made of, but def not silver. I would greatly appreciate any info you folks could provide!

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  2. #2
    ca
    Oct 2009
    East Dirtyville
    3,059
    2345 times
    Banner Finds (2)
    It's an old pewter spoon handle, dates from late 1700s to the mid 18s.
    The faux hallmarks were used to give the appearance of sterling silver, but they were not.
    ...if you think I'm a pain in the neck, it's lower, lower,little bit lower, too low, higher, there ya go.....

  3. #3
    Charter Member
    us
    An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

    Oct 2004
    N. San Diego area (Pic of my two best 'finds'; son and grandson)
    Minelab Explorer
    19,468
    12572 times
    Shipwrecks
    Honorable Mentions (2)
    The middle image is that of a thistle, associated with Scotland.
    But this handle's rendering of the thistle is not consistent with a real Scottish mark.
    Don...

  4. #4

    Aug 2014
    new york city
    whites
    112
    68 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    these are pseudo-hallmarks, imitations of silver hallmarks found on non-silver articles as well as foreign goods being passed off as something else. pseudo hallmarks are usually found on early chinese export silver, late 19th and 20th century wares from hanau germany made in an 18th century style, some american coin silver, as well as old pewter.

    your marks are probably scottish pewter pseudo hallmarks from the 18th century. the top mark is a rose and the second mark is a thistle, these two pseudo-hallmarks were used on scottish pewter in the 17th & 18th centuries. the third mark appears to be a 2, which may somehow refer to the quality of the alloy. it appears that the maker's mark is worn.

    now how this centuries old scottish pewter spoon ended up on a mexican beach...

  5. #5

    Sep 2014
    37
    175 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by on.off View Post
    these are pseudo-hallmarks, imitations of silver hallmarks found on non-silver articles as well as foreign goods being passed off as something else. pseudo hallmarks are usually found on early chinese export silver, late 19th and 20th century wares from hanau germany made in an 18th century style, some american coin silver, as well as old pewter.

    your marks are probably scottish pewter pseudo hallmarks from the 18th century. the top mark is a rose and the second mark is a thistle, these two pseudo-hallmarks were used on scottish pewter in the 17th & 18th centuries. the third mark appears to be a 2, which may somehow refer to the quality of the alloy. it appears that the maker's mark is worn.

    now how this centuries old scottish pewter spoon ended up on a mexican beach...
    Thanks for the info! Last thing I was expecting to find was something that old on a little Mexican beach! I was looking for gold, managed to snag a small 10k ring at another beach, we were on a cruise ship and I brought my detector along for the ride, glad I did!

    I like to imagine it came off an old ship that landed on the yucatan peninsula, and the person that used it long ago. I bet that spoon could tell some good stories.

    As for pseudo hallmarks, was pewter not stamped back then like silver was? What gives it away as being false hallmarks as opposed to being a legitimate pewter hallmark?

    I'd almost like to research ships that were sailing in that part of the Caribbean and see if it would give any clue how it got there! Gotta love this hobby!!

  6. #6

    Aug 2014
    new york city
    whites
    112
    68 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    pewter was usually stamped like silver back then, with a maker's mark but with pseudo-hallmarks. the difference between real and pseudo is that the real ones were officially regulated--silver pieces had to be stamped by the government's assay office (such as in london or edinburgh) with a city mark, silver standard mark, date letter, and maker's mark. they are exact and highly informative. pseudo hallmarks sort of look like real hallmarks, but were not officially regulated and are sometimes meaningless.

    today we think of pewter as a dull dark gray metal because it oxidizes that way and most dealers do not buff or polish antique pieces; also newly made pewter is often given that sort of finish. however, pewter was originally a more affordable alternative to silver, and when new, a piece such as your spoon would have looked very similar to silver, with a bright lustrous finish.

    i'm not a pewter expert, but i do not believe pewter with pseudo hallmarks was meant to trick people, it was just the way it was marked.

    the shape of your spoon is known as a fiddle handle, a classic style for centuries now.

 

 

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