Dating english registration marks
This is a page of A Small Collection of Antique Silver and Objects of vertu, a 1000 pages richly illustrated website offering all you need to know about antique silver, sterling silver, silverplate, sheffield plate, electroplate silver, silverware, flatware, tea services and tea complements, marks and hallmarks, articles, books, auction catalogs, famous silversmiths (Tiffany, Gorham, Jensen, Elkington, WMF, Reed & Barton, Mappin & Webb, Bateman Family), history, oddities ... SITE MAP HOME PAGEFrom centuries British silver is protected by the stamping of symbols and letters identifying the maker, the Assay Office and the date in which the quality of the silver piece was verified. Thanks to the "date letter" any piece of British sterling silver can be exactly dated. Old Sheffield Plate and Electroplated silver are not subject to this practice and the regulation issued by the authorities had the main objective of preventing possible frauds by unscrupulous sellers of plated ware. & Howson Hayne & Cater Hennell family Holland Aldwinckle & Slater Horton & Allday Hukin & Heath W. Jamieson Lambert & Co Lamerie Latham & Morton Levi & Salaman C. The best-known initiative is the prohibition (effective from c. 1896: Elkington was forced to change its mark in 1898) of stamping plated wares with the "crown", to avoid misunderstanding with the symbol identifying the Sheffield Assay Office.
- "Ltd" or "Ld" on the mark denotes a date after 1861 (but in most cases not before 1890) - a registered number (Rd followed by a number) denotes a date after 1883 - "England" denotes a date after 1891 (mandatory for export in the USA - Mc Kinley Tariff Act of 1890-) - "Made in England" denotes a 20th century date (mandatory after 1921 for export in the USA) The largest manufacturers introduced, on a voluntary basis, a dating system of their silver plate based on series of letters of various style contained into shields or geometric figures.
The first was Elkington (1841), followed by Walker & Hall (1884) and Mappin & Webb (but other less known makers tried to do something similar).
The key to decrypt Elkington date system is well known and widely illustrated in my website ( click here for Elkington page), that of Walker & Hall is known (but not disclosed as covered by copyright), while that of Mappin & Webb is, to the best of my knowledge, still unknown.
As a modest contribute to the knowledge of Mappin & Webb dating system I publish in this page some sets of images of marks bearing what looks as a date letter.
Not all pieces marked Mappin and Webb bear the date letter and often is difficult for me to decipher the style of the letter.