I bought an American silver enamel compact but there is no hallmark. It is a very fine piece. Completely enamelled top, bottom and sides. White with floral decoration. Does all american silver have a hallmark?
The simple reply is that no American silver has a hallmark. A hallmark is a guarantee that the silver content is what is stated. It is applied by an independent body which has tested the silver. In Britain the various Assay Offices have the responsibility of performing this function.
I know that what you really meant was, “Does all American silver have a fineness stamp such as ‘sterling’ or ‘925’?” so please excuse the little lecture.
We generally expect American silver to have been marked “sterling” by the manufacturer. Because he does it himself there is no absolute guarantee that it is what it says. And because it is voluntary there may be variations, including an absence of marking. If there is no marking we must ask ourselves why a manufacturer would go to the trouble and expense of producing something in silver and then not proclaiming the fact…
I assume that your compact has a manufacturer’s mark or you would not know that it is American. Can you show a picture of it?
I bought it from a fine antiques fair in Harrogate and the description on the card said it was american. I can’t find any mark on it. I was worried that I might have been conned but I wouldn’t have thought that the dealer would have been allowed to trade at the fair if they sold item other than the real McCoy. I will upload a picture for you in a little while.
Was Charmant a silver maker?
I lifted out the rough insert and on the back of the rouge it says " Charmant Inc LI NY Rosebud V.1000"
The name doesn’t mean anything to me - presumably a specialist maker of compact / make-up / beauty products. I would be very suspicious of the lack of marks but I wouldn’t go quite as far as suggesting that you have been conned. I would, though, want to ask the dealer to justify his claim that it is silver. As far as the mark goes “LI NY” means Long Island, New York and I would think that “Rosebud” must be the pattern name.