Antique silver dating marks

Rubbing of hallmarks positioned in a straight line increases progressively from the more protected side (in our case the handle) towards the more exposed side at the centre of the pot.

This is our case: the first mark, near the handle, is quite clear and corresponds to the maker mark of the silversmith Thomas Whipham I (note 1), working in London at the middle of 18th century.

The last hallmark, completely unreadable, should be the crowned leopard head, symbol of the London assay Office since 1550.

Anyway the set of hallmarks clearly certifies that this coffee pot was marked in London between the May 1745 and the April 1746.

Starting to Collect Antique Silver - Antiques Collector's Club, and Peter Waldrom, 2001. This means that, likely, this pot was crafted between 17.

The shape of the lid (wrapping over the rim, without a sleeve fitting outside) is typical of the years around the 1745 (Ian Pickford, 2003.

In mid 18th century two techniques were used to craft a coffee pot (and other objects, like teapots, cream jugs, pepper castors and sugar bowls) (Jan Pickford, 2003.

From this point of view our coffee pot looks to be a piece of great gauge and quality as anyone would expect from an English silver of the first half of 18th century. Hallmarks research and their examination (individual and as a set) Now we research coffee pot hallmarks.

Hallmarks in exposed positions are often rubbed and difficult to read on antique silver, due to the repeated polishing of the item.

Usually a further help in dating a silver piece is supplied by the marks inside the lid (lion passant and, often, maker's mark), but our coffee pot has no mark inside the lid.

We record this peculiarity (more explanations later) and we proceed with our test. Coherence between hallmarks' date and actual production of the item in this age In our case the question is: were coffee pots already produced in England in 1745?Usually the solidity of a 'seamed' item is lower than a 'raised' one, and its weight varies considerably. Starting to Collect Antique Silver - Antiques Collector's Club, Woodbridge, Suffolk (UK)).

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