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No town mark ...Is this a hallmark


#1

Found this 4cm top of a (sugar) shaker but there is no town mark that I can see.

There is a right profile head, a lion, and a capital U . On the left there appears to be a partial makers mark - a W with a dot and maybe the suggestion of a bilobed surround with one side missing.

Any help gratefully received
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#2

Yes, this is a hallmark. It is London, 1815 - at this period it was very common for the town mark to be omitted. However the shape of the punches is definitely London. In addition the maker is a London maker, William Bateman I, who was the grandson of the famous Hester Bateman. The shape of the punch mark is sufficiently distinctive for me to be 100% confident about this attribution.


#3

Many thanks silvermakersmarks. Very grateful indeed. However one question - was it just London that did not include the town mark or did all of the assay offices omit them? If so - I gather the shape of the punches is critical to know which date letters to use? Is there a published list / diagrams. All very confusing for a starter like me!


#4

Exeter and Chester also regularly omitted the town mark; Newcastle did so less frequently, but the worst of all was York - York silver is rare in itself, but the chances of finding the York town mark are vanishingly small. So it is important to be able to recognise the punch shapes, but it is probably easier to know which town to expect for the individual makers.

There are several sites which show date letters, some with better image quality than others. Rather than single out one over the others I suggest that a web search for “silver date letters” (don’t put the quotes in) will give you some ideas.


#5

Many thanks. I will do that.