I am a new member and an amateur collector of Old Sheffield Plate,pewter and anything interesting pre 1800!I am trying to research a piece of silver that I have just bought.The Hallmark is for London 1955 but the makers mark is a H’s in a clipped rectangular cartouche.I believe this is for Harrods.My question is "I always thought the initials were for the maker and very occassionally this may have been overstamped with a retailers mark(I have 2 18thC spoons that have had this done-I think GG for George Gray if I remember correctly).Who may have made this item for Harrods in the 1950’s.
Many thanks in anticipation
From your description the mark is indeed almost certainly Harrod’s. My understanding of your question is that the mark is either maker or sponsor i.e. it is the mark of the person/party presenting the piece for assay and the mark must be registered at the assay office (for example I have a piece with the Selfridge mark). Overstamping is usually done by a maker when they buy or otherwise aquire some or all of the inventory of another maker. Unless the retailer has their own registered mark and it’s at least as prestigious as the previous mark I see no value in overstamping. Technically the over stamping mark does not have to be registered since the piece is not being re-presented for assay. With Harrod’s and Selfridge there is a certain cache to the name therefore their mark is of commercial value. They may almost certainly have commissioned the piece so they are sponsor in the true sense of the term. They may also have registered the design but that’s a whole different area.
I hope this has helped and also that it’s reasonably accurate.
Many thanks for your reply which was helpful.