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Mystery Silver Chester Date Mark (1727?) and Item!

Hi all,

I very recently acquired this item as part of a job lot. It’s stunning (aside from needing a clean) but I am completely confounded by 1) what it actually is and 2) the date.

I suspect it is a tall napkin holder (it’s open at both ends) but if anyone could kindly confirm this it would be greatly appreciated as that really is a wile guess! Secondly the date stamp, to me, looks like 1727 but the maker’s mark seems to be for Henry Matthews - a maker not even registered until the early 1800s. The alternative date which does correlate with the maker stamp is 1902 but I’m not sure the ‘B’ stamp is quite right for 1902, nor does the piece feel right for that date. It appears to be cast silver (there is a casting join down one side) which would indicate 18th century… but this could be wishful thinking on my part.

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Many thanks in advance.

It’s 1902. The date letters for 1727 and 1902 are pretty much identical, but the rest of the hallmark is completely wrong for the earlier date and, as you point out, the maker’s mark of Henry Matthews (registered 1894) is also only valid for the 1902 date. I don’t know what the purpose of this piece is.

Thank you ever so much - exceptionally helpful!