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Silver Collector Forums

Sterling Cup (or bowl)?

Hi everyone,
I picked this up recently because I thought it was neat and it had some hallmarks. By the engraving on the top, I was thinking it’s some kind of trophy or award?
I’ve been trying to research the hallmarks and from what I gather it is Sterling Silver (based on the first lion) - but I think it’s kind of weird that there is no makers mark in front of the hallmarks. So, can anyone help me identify the marks, but more importantly identify what this is? I found it in the Philadelphia area if that helps.
Many thanks in advance for your help!

The lion passant is only a guarantee of sterling when found on English silver. This is not an English mark so it may not be silver. As you found it in Philadelphia it may well have originated in USA and could therefore be coin silver. If the engraved date is contemporaneous with its manufacture then I would expect to see a “sterling” mark.

You should first give it a good clean; if it is plated there may be some areas where base metal is showing through. If there is no obvious damage you can then get it tested to see if it is solid silver.

Or maybe someone else here will recognise the marks and tell us exactly what it is…


Thank you Phil!
I’ll give it a good clean and see what I have.
Regarding testing it - is this something I can have a jeweler do? Or do I buy a kit online?

Even if it’s not worth anything - it will make a neat trophy for game nights

Many thanks!

Best to find a jeweller with a specialist machine.

Greetings. For a brief period silversmiths “mimicked” the English manner of hallmarks - most notably in the Philadelphia and Baltimore areas. IMHO it was abandoned as retailers found it to difficult to explain and thus promote the silver standard in their goods as seen by the popularity of the sterling marketing and establishment as a standard in American wares. Even the manufacture and promotion of .950 made ware really didn’t take off either as evidenced by the scarcity of such pieces today in comparison to others. It is most likely American.

Thank you Rafer.
Do you have any guesses as to what the item may be? I keep thinking it was an award or something like that.

So, a couple of things:
It is either a covered candy (or bon bon) dish, or more likely a vanity jar that would have been on a lady’s dresser. I believe the piece to be about 40 years older than the date. The form and marks indicate 1855-1870. It was not uncommon for a piece to be passed down as a gift and this piece carries the later date - of a wedding or christening or anniversary, etc.