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Help please, I'm very lost when it comes to these

Hey guys,

Hoping there is some eexpert on here that can help identify especially the first marking after the maker ?

super confused on where to begin and i appreciate any help i can get here


This is an English sterling silver hallmark. Below the maker’s mark is the hallmark itself with the components (from the top):

  • uncrowned leopard’s head - the symbol of the London assay office
  • lion passant - the English standard (guarantee) mark for sterling (925/1000) silver
  • date letter - this “C” is for the assay year 1878/79
  • duty mark (an image of Queen Victoria) - showing that the correct tax has been paid

The maker’s mark (or more properly sponsor’s mark as it indicates the person or company responsible for submitting the piece for assay) is, on your piece, not complete, probably through being badly struck. It should read “HJL” over “JW”. This is the mark of Lias & Wakely, successors to H J Lias & Son. The initials are those of the partners Henry John Lias and James Wakely.

Lias & Wakely registered this mark in February 1879 and the 1878 assay year ran through to the end of May 1879. So we can date your silver fairly accurately to between February and May 1879.