Request assistance on identifying a possible 18th century American Silversmith’s mark. I recently acquired a pair of shuttle shaped openwork silver shoe buckles that appear to date to about 1760-1780.
I am at my wits end, and despite searches in all of the major works both English and American, I cannot identify this mark. I need some advanced regional help
These buckles came from a family from Central Point, Caroline County, Virginia, and the buckles have been in the same family until a recent estate sale
They appear to be coin silver. There are maker’s marks: the initials JA (large pellet between). No no sovereign head or duty mark, no city mark, no date mark. The only other marks present are scratch marks for weight in roman numerals representing 46 Dwt. I weighed them and they match the scratch marks with the deduction of the weight of the iron chape (the mechanism that fastened the buckle to the shoe).
The basis of thought that these may be of American origin are the scratch marks in roman numerals, which is a feature that I have been told is exclusive to 18th century American silver. The other is the lack of the other hallmarks normally present (I know that on small piece that this is not uncommon), however these are significant pieces.
The other reason I believe that these may be American is that there was no legal requirement to mark pieces of this size in England during the approximate date of manufacture
Any assistance that can be provided will be gratefully accepted.
Bob M, Massachusetts