What do you do if there are no town marks?

I am at a bit of a loss. I found a set of very nice teaspoons at an estate sale, and they have the Lion Passant, a date letter, a monarch’s head and a makers mark, but no town stamp! So how do I go about dating them!!!

The makers mark is 3 sets of initials consisting of 3 rows:


Any info would be great and most appreciated. (If the news is all bad, don’t worry about dissapointing me, they only cost a few dollars!)



Hi Matt,

I’m not sure why, but it’s not uncommon to find tea spoons without the town mark. I think it may be that there was a weight threshold, under which the normal hallmarking rules didn’t apply.

If the spoon is georgian (king’s head), quite small and the other marks look like the standard english hallmarks, ie standard mark, duty mark, and date letter, then you can be pretty sure that it was assayed in London.

Your spoon certainly was. However, its still difficult to date because it could be 1789, 1809 or 1829.

The next thing to check is the maker. Is the maker’s mark clearer on one of the other spoons?? If so, could you post another image??



Hi Jonathon,

Thank you for your reply. I am a bit flabigasted that it could be that old! I knew they were sterling (even though they were described as EPNS in the sale :smiley: ) so my one quid could be a good purchase (for a change :laughing: ).

I have had another go at the makers mark, but they are not as crisp as the other marks, and all the spoons are the same, although this one is probably the best.

See what you think.



That looks like the maker’s mark for Sam Godbehere & Co which is actually SG, EW, IB - Samuel Godbehere, Edward Wigan, & James Bult. (‘J’ is traditionally abbreviated to ‘I’ in this period)

That mark was registered in 1800 which rules out 1789.

In 1818, a new mark of SG, IB was entered when Edward Wigan apparently left the firm. That rules out the later mark of 1829.

As such, we know it must be London, 1809 by Sam Godbehere & Co.

Regards // Jonathan