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lion passant

I have a small pepper shaker with hallmarks that appear to be British but the lion passant is facing right rather than left. What does this mean? Can you help?

I would imagine they are Faux English hallmarks, probably Chinese. There has never been a time when the lion pasant faced to the right in english silverware. If you post a picture I can try and confirm this, but my guess would be a faux english chinese mark.


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Daniel, Thanks for the info. I would be happy to send a photo if I thought it were possible but the marks are so small, I doubt I could get one that would be discernable. I can describe them if that will help. There are three hallmarks, the lion facing to the right, an anchor in the middle indicating Birmingham, and a date mark on the right which looks like a Gothic G but not sure about that. Below the marks it says Sterling and below that is a four digit number. I bought the shaker many years ago, and it was very inexpensive so if it is in fact not English, I don’t really care. I was just curious. I am currently trying to learn more about English hallmarks.

As Daniel says, they are probably fake marks as British Sterling silver does not normally (or ever ?) have the word “Sterling” as well as City Hallmarks. The Lion Passant is there to indicate Sterling Silver.

I was researching marks just like yours (on a tiny silver teapot), but with a fancy B instead of G, and came upon your post. I continued to do research and found this interesting page (with our marks clearly showing):

I also have the 4 digit number underneath – Mine is A4445. Below that is 5/8 pint and below that is what appears to be a question mark laying down – or a scythe??

Thought you might find this interesting :slight_smile: Hopefully, when you registered, you gave this site permission to send you emails when people reply to your posts.

If anyone knows anymore about this, now that I’ve posted this Gorham connection, I’d appreciate hearing from you.

Good luck!

One more thing:

All of Gorham’s marks, over the years, are here: You’ll see the right facing passant / lion, the anchor, the fancy letter, the word sterling and the 4 digit number.

I still don’t understand why English marks are used. I thought I was looking at English silver made in Birmingham.


HERE’S THE REST OF THE STORY: Gorham copied the British system because America didn’t have one yet. Scroll down almost to the bottom of the page and you’ll see your marks.

That was fascinating!

Thanks for a great forum :slight_smile:

Hello Marcy -

I just thought I’d let you know that the “scythe” mark on the bottom of your Gorham teapot is the date mark used for 1899.


Thanks Lisa - I actually found that on one of the Gorham pages and thought I’d linked to it, but it seems I didn’t. Gorham used letters up to a certain date, then started with symbols. My guess of it being a scythe turned out to be correct.

It’s fascinating to have unraveled the mystery of my pot. I swear, I thought I had an English silver teapot. But somewhere along the line I realized that my lion was facing the wrong way and a hunt for the truth began. VERY INTERESTING!

Thanks all :slight_smile: