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Maker's mark overstriking another

Can anyone please explain what it means when a piece is described as having a maker’s mark overstriking another? Why would this be done?

Many thanks,

Apologies if you get this post twice - not sure the first one worked!

It simply means that the overstriking mark obliterates and therefore replaces the overstruck mark.

Possible reasons for this are several; here are a few off the top of my head (I’m sure that other people can come up with more):

  • The original silversmith’s stock in trade is taken over by a new silversmith due to bankruptcy, death or simply commercial selling out.

  • A retailer buys in stock from a silversmith and wishes to have his own mark on the silver as sponsor (note that what we normally refer to as a “maker’s mark” is more strictly a “sponsor’s mark”).

  • A silversmith buys in stock from another and prefers to sell the silver with his own mark.

Thank you for your reply which is very informative and helpful.