I’m somewhat puzzled by the attached.
It looks like an English sterling silver hallmark (maker Walker & Hall, Sheffield assay office, sterling lion). However, the lower case “a” where the date stamp should be looks more like a mark for W&H plate than for sterling - the mark for 1824 has similarities but that would predate the establishment of W&H.
The base of the object is stamped with a W&H pennant, the words “Walker & Hall Sheffield” and a serial/item number.
The object belongs to my parents and I haven’t seen it for many years so I can’t confirm whether it’s solid silver or plate.
This appears to be a genuine silver hallmark with the date letter “a” for 1918.
Thanks for the very prompt response.
The lower case letter “a” is undoubtedly right for 1918 as it would be for 1824 and 1893. The problem is with the font - it isn’t right for 1893 or 1918 (the “curls” at the beginning and end are just wrong). It might just make it for 1824 but really looks more modern. My problem is with this:
www.silvercollection.it/ENGLAWALKER&HALLDATE.html (about a fifth of the way down the page - type 5)
which deals with a mark for plate not a date mark for sterling.
I’m by no means an expert on these matters - it would be great if you could point me towards some resource which would help to clarify.
Yes, I agree that the illustration in the link is pretty much the same. For this cycle of their electroplate date codes W&H actually used virtually identical letters & punch shapes to the official assay office ones. The illustration which you posted shows some wear and one of the features of a worn hallmark is that the letters, etc. tend to spread; I am sure that your “a” is well within norms for a 1918 mark. Note that it could not be any of the other dates you mention because of the shape of the punches, not just the letter but also the crown and lion passant.