Help with date letter


When digging through one of the cupboards I found this silver salver / dish that I had forgotten about. It appears to have a set of hallmarks and by using ( I think I’ve identified it as Sheffield, Sterling silver, Atkin brothers and 1960 (or is it 1935, there’s no jubilee mark that I can see). Can anyone confirm this? I’m wavering over the date letter and maker’s mark!

Thanks in advance, Richard

Hello Richard, do you have pictures?

Yes, and it was only my incompetence that meant I didn’t uplpad properly first time around!

Hi Richard, it’s a sterling silver from Sheffield, and the “S” corresponds to the year 1960 on this piece.

Phil’s website is a reliable source and looking at the format, the details of the letter, gives you the exact year.

Thank you and yes, Phil’s site is a great site

Thanks for the comments, guys. In fact, though, I think that this S (or s) is the earlier 1935 s; the later, upper case, S has much thicker strokes. And, as a footnote to Richard’s initial query, the jubilee mark was optional on 1934 and 1935 hallmarks so its absence does not rule out a 1935 date.


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Thanks Phil, appreciated

I believe that if you took a photo focusing only on the “S”, we would make a more accurate analysis.

How about this? If Ive got the maker’s mark correct as Atkin, that would suggest 1935 too?

Because the ends of the letters are thin and the top opening of the “S” is large, I think it is 1960. The “S” from 1935 has the ends of the letter very thick and the internal openings of the “S” are small.

If I were to look at just the “S”, without other factors, the most similar in my opinion would be the 1860, but of course based on the shape of the hallmark frame we know this is not possible.

The manufacturer marking can help eliminate doubts, as we can check whether it was in operation in the years of doubt.

Sorry, but I don’t think I saw the manufacturer’s marking in the photos. Is his hallmark that “VII”?

Hope this helps. The trouble is I’ve convinced myself that it’s HA - too easy to do when you start looking for answers as you always convince yourself you’ve found them.

Wow, I’m sorry, I thought it was a Roman 7 upside down hahhaha, that’s why I said “VII”. Really the closest would be HA and we would only have the Atkin Brothers, but then it couldn’t be 1960 and it would be 1935, as Phil suggested.

Phil, that “S” for me is identical to the one from 1860, which ends up being closer to 1960 than the “S” used in 1935, would it be possible to have reused the hallmark?

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Here is a picture of a confirmed 1960 mark.


Note that the parts of the S arrowed are thicker than the rest. This ties in with the general construction of the date letters in this series (1943-1967) and says to me that Richard’s mark is the 1935 s.

In addition Atkin Brothers were taken over by C J Vander Ltd in 1958 so we should not expect to see their mark after that date.


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Oh yes, I understand, I had looked at the edges, but not the middle of the letter. Thank you very much Phil!

Thank you to both of you

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Heads of sovereigns had only previous appeared on sterling silver as duty marks. Duty on silver was imposed to pay for the British failed attempt to impose Stamp Duty on those of us living in North America who objected as we thought taxation without a vote was a bad idea. It was, but you guys have come round to it again, this time for yourselves and you now call it inflation.

That both the King and Queen were used in all the assay offices then extant is indicative of exactly how fragile the UK monarchy was inter bellum.

George V was a younger brother who never expected to inherit, whose primary interest was mass slaughter of colorful imported Chinese birds called pheasants and the collection of postage stamps with his face on them. He married Mary of Teck who spoke with a thick German accent and was a kleptomaniac. (He married her for much the same reason Henry VIII married his deceased brother Arthur’s wife – she had already been shipped over and there was no other useful way to deal with the problem other than shipping them back to Aragon and Teck respectively).

George’s health was never good after 1928 and his wife Mary, a tough women who had supported no sanctuary for the eventually murdered Czarist cousins, threw out the Royal Dukes who had sided with the Kaiser and changed the family name to Windsor in 1917, in 1935 realized her eldest son, David was going to be king floppy. Literally.

She, an elderly German-speaking women was going to have to keep the family firm going. And that was why she was there on the jubilee mark propping up her dying husband. (poor man wasn’t even allowed to die until the morning so that the announcement would not appear in the disreputable evening papers like the Standard.)

Of course we all know what happened next. David, called Edward VIII, ducked out of his own coronation and went to live in France with triple divorcee Simpson. Mary made the unprecedented effort as dowager queen to attend the coronation of her stuttering younger son Albert (George VI) and his Scottish wife, Elizabeth the recently departed Queen’s mother, another tough cookie.(Whose nickname was actually Cookie).

In 1939 George soon found himself plunged in another war against his German relatives working for Hitler and there was another royal ducal cull. His elder brother Edward, backed Hitler before the war and George initially sided with Lord Halifax against Churchill for peace with Hitler.

Had he and Halifax succeeded in their appeasement we would be writing this is German if at all.

When it came time for George’s daughter Elizabeth to celebrate her jubilee the sovereign head was once again used with no Duke of Edinburgh, Philippos Andreou Schleswig-Holstein Sonderburg-Glucksburg propping her up.

And now there is Charles. Chances are no royal jubilee marks for him. William, possibly but unlikely; too busy chasing around like his father. So if he pops off when George his son is in his 20’s that’s the best chance of another jubilee mark.

So fairly collectable.