2 chandeliers

I have 2 chandeliers, which I believe are pure silver. I have no way of finding out their origin as my parents bought or inherited them and I can´t ask them anymore. They are old chandeliers for one single candle, about 20 cm high and weigh 300 grs.
They have markings near the bottom as shown on the picture. The first one is a shield with BPDC in it, the second a small anchor, the third a lion walking from right to left and the fourth a quadrangle with a W in it. I haven¨t been able to find anything on the internet so far. I would like to know what these markings mean, if it means that we have solid silver here and possibly an idea of its value. Can anybody help me ?
zilvermerk kandelaars.JPG

Hi Arthur,

Thanks for joining us. First your chandeliers (or candlesticks perhaps?) are solid silver, but not pure silver. The markings tell us pretty well all we need to know about them. I’ll take them out of order.

  • the lion, technically know as a “lion passant”, is the English symbol for sterling silver which is 92.5%% pure; the other 7.5% is other metals which give hardness to the silver.

  • the anchor shows that it was assayed (officially tested for silver content) in Birmingham.

  • the “w” is a date code for the assay year 1921/22 (the assay year did not start on 1 Jan but coincided with the election of the guild master).

  • BP over DC is the maker’s or sponsor’s mark; i.e. the person or company who sent the item for assay and who take responsibility for its silver content. This is the mark of Boots Pure Drug Company of Nottingham, now better known as the British high street chemist chain, Boots.

Valuation is difficult without a picture. Factors which will affect the value include style, condition and the amount of filling (deadweight) in the base, if any. I suggest that you check out completed auctions on eBay to see if you can find anything similar to yours. That should give you an idea of what people are prepared to pay.

This is all very interesting and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. As you probably guessed the world of Silver was completely unknown to me before today. As a non-native speaker I assume a candlestick is the right word for a single-candle chandelier. If I include some additional pictures would you be willing to have another at the candlesticks ? I feel someone else may take better care of them than I do, so, yes, I am selling. So theseI candlesticks date back to 1921-22 at least. Were such items assayed immediately after manufucturing ? Also, I understand that there is a difference between solid and pure silver. I will check on eBay auctions.

You can post additional pictures if you wish but we may not be able to give you any more information. The assay marks were applied before sale because it was illegal to sell silver in England unless it had been assayed.

OK, I´ll try my luck. There is a little damage to the candlesticks as you can see. I looked the ebay auctions but it is not easy to make sense of it. Prices vary between 10 and 10.000 dollars and new ones eem to be more wanted than antique ones. But not always. And what does “hallmarked 925” stand for eg ? Thanks already, you have helped me a lot, Arthur

These are very plain and may not be what the market wants at the moment, especially with the damage. I suspect that they are not worth very much more than scrap value. There is probably some weighting material in the base behind the wooden cover so you should be aware that the weight you see on your scales is not the true silver weight.

“hallmarked 925” probably means that the item is stamped “925” indicating sterling silver and is not actually hallmarked in the way I have explained in a previous post.

Right, well maybe disappointing from a certain point of view, but your expert view has been very helpful all the same, thank you. I´ll probably give the candlesticks to someone who will look after them better than I do.