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Unusual hallmarks on a teaspoon


Greetings – this is my first question on this forum. I have what appears to be a Georgian teaspoon with the following unusual marks: the makers marks are JB over WN this is followed by the lion passant and next the sovereigns head. This is where it becomes unusual because there is a date letter capital A within a square surround and this is followed by a slightly smaller capital S inside a slightly smaller square surround. There is no assay office mark – is this very unusual? And I cannot understand why there should be two date marks.

I hope someone can help Best wishes – Tony Hunter.


JB over WN is James Barber & William North and this is the York Assay Office mark for 1836. For some reason the York city mark was very rarely used. The S is probably a journeyman’s mark; i.e. the guy who actually made the spoon.


Greetings –

Many thanks for your prompt and most helpful reply. As a result of which would I be right in thinking that this teaspoon as it was assayed in York is more valuable than say a similar one made in London?

Kind regards – Tony Hunter


Definitely looks like the James Barber & William North mark, registered in York.

Its missing the York town mark and the leopard’s head crowned mark that both appear on York silver of this period. However, on small items like teaspoons the town mark is sometimes not used, and so this is not a problem. The strange thing is the shape of the duty mark. According to Jacksons, its the shape of the earlier duty mark used in York from 1816 - 1820. We should expect an oval shaped duty mark in 1837. And why is the duty mark so rubbed, when the other marks are clear??

Anyway, I’m just being paranoid Provincial marks are famous for not always following their own rules.

Its worth more than a London tea spoon but its still not worth a lot, i’m afraid. Maybe £20 - £30.

Regards // Jonathan


Thanks for that Jonathan.