Henry Holland maker's mark?

Just purchased an early Victorian christening cup, and I’ve got a little maker’s mark puzzle.

The hallmark, though a bit rubbed, is fairly clear, and appears to be London 1841. As further confirmation, the underside bears the inscription, “Douglas Guillaume Cave from his godfather Francis Hundley 1841.” As if that weren’t enough, I found something on a genealogy site that referred to Douglas Guillaume Cave as having lived from 1841 to 1908. So, the dating doesn’t get much more solid than that!

The maker’s mark appears to be that of Henry Holland. But every reference I’ve seen says that Holland used the “H-pellet-H” mark in a rectangle from 1838-1859, and “HH” (no pellet) in conjoined circles from 1860 onwards. This cup has a hybrid of the two: “H-pellet-H” in conjoined circles.

Is this just an example of some loose, undocumented marking by Holland, or could it be a different maker?

HH marks

The cup in question:

This is certainly a mystery. I agree that the hallmark date is 1841/42 but I cannot find a maker’s mark HH, pellet beteen in conjoined circles. Henry Holland’s similar mark was not first registered until 1860 and in none of the published examples does it have a pellet. This agrees with your research so I am left speculating. Holland was certainly active in 1841. I guess it is possible that he commissioned this mark, used it for a short period without registering it and then, for some reason, abandoned it. This would definitely be unusual but I can see it happening as a remote possibility.


Thanks for taking a look. We may never know. There don’t seem to be any other “HH” likely suspects in that era!