Please assist Identifying Hallmarks

Hallmarks on the bottom of the pot. Please assist with hallmark identification, and if possible value of pot

That’s a difficult one. The hallmark is for London, and the date letter O is either 1789 or 1809. One is an uppercase O, and the other is a lowercase o, but good luck telling the difference:

The maker indicated by I-pellet-B in a rectangle is equally ambiguous. There are half a dozen makers who used a similar mark, though only one, James Barratt, is early enough to line up with an 1809 date.

Value? First, weigh it, and check the current spot price of silver. That will give you the low end of the range, a.k.a. the “melt value.” It would go up from there, depending upon condition and collectability.

ETA: The style is very much in the regency tradition, which also would indicate the later date. An example from an auction a few years ago:

I wrote a reply to this query yesterday but then, for some unknown reason (a senior moment perhaps), I didn’t click “Reply”. Anyway for what it’s worth here is what I wrote:

This is a London hallmark. The date letter is either “o” for 1789 or “O” for 1809. There are a number of candidates for both dates but I would suggest that this is the mark of John Beldon and the date is therefore 1789. For its value you may be able to find something similar in size and age in Ebay’s “Sold” listings.


So you have two very well informed answers from two specialists in Georgian silver their marks.

Here’s what the rest of us can conclude from the two comments and a quick look at the data uncovered:

James Barratt apprenticed to William Abdy May 1772. First mark entered as smallworker, 5 October 1801. Second mark, 20 June 1803. Third mark 7 September 1803. Fourth and last mark 29 June 1816. Died April 1826. So if this was his mark it would be his third which was created in two sizes; a fact which indicates by 1803 his shop was producing holloware as well as small items.

The “o”, while arguably either the early or later date, looks more like a lower case “o” so likely the earlier date. The duty mark (king’s head), town mark (the crowned leopard) and the sterling mark are reconcilable with either date.

John Beldon finished his apprenticeship and entered his first mark as early as 1784. He produced a wire-work standish in 1790 which was sold at Christies. Bonhams sold eight Hanoverian table forks attributed to him assayed in 1799. Neither mark is now showed in either of the 1990’s sales records online.

I cannot on a quick look, find another tea pot or other holloware made by him. The style of this pot is consistent with either date. This flat bottomed teapot would likely have had a stand. I have in my own collection two very similar pots both dating to the mid 1780’s.

You should have a mark, probably a lion passant and a sponsor’s mark on the lid and in the normal course I would look at those marks together with the mark on the silver screw holding down the lid handle the wooden portion of which may have been made by a different hand to the main handle. Look for marks on the screw, typically a lion and a maker only. The screw and nut will be black with age and the marks discernable under a magnifying glass. To clean it, you can try removing it from the wooden handle and using washing soda and tin foil. I keep an old can of silver dip in the cupboard and use this sometimes but it’s highly carcinogenic so rubber gloves please and wash carefully afterwards, both the silver and everything else. The marks on the underside of the lid and possibly on the screw may be clearer and may show some anomaly or stamp irregularity which may help distinguish your I.B mark from the covey of I.B marks you have disturbed with your excellent question.

Summary; if the choice was strictly Beldon or Barratt, I’d have to say Beldon, but for all the reasons I have set out I would keep searching for more data before saying either was a dead cert.

Christopher Wilson
Guildhall Antiques

Oh, I’m no expert, or “specialist.” I’m just fairly good at looking things up online, and I built an entire career (in a totally unrelated field) on having a pretty good guessing percentage. :laughing: