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DATE LETTERS - 1773 TO 2019
In during the reign of King Henry VIII an additional standard mark was introduced, the "lion passant guardant", a lion walking with three paws on the ground and right forepaw raised, his head turned over his shoulder to face the viewer. In some countries, the testing of precious metal objects and marking of purity is controlled by a national assay office. The enforced use of the maker's mark was instituted in London in The date letters used by the London Assay Office to indicate the hallmarking year ran in sequences of 20, starting at the letter "a" and running up to "u", omitting the letter "j". I started my pages about hallmarking to document information about imported watches, which is not readily available in the standard references such as Bradbury and Chaffers. Generally the letter was changed annually until a complete alphabet had been used and then the cycle would begin again with an alteration to the style of letter or its surrounding shield. Assay Offices.REGISTER TO VIEW
This ring above is a mourning ring, black enamel over gold, made in England from the Georgian period and at the time this post was published, available for purchase Sugar et Cie. Until then, assay offices changed punches at different times of the year, so most letters were in fact used across two years. There is an example of this at Cautions about using tables of hallmarks. And then you must bear in mind that most published tables only show date letters for silver; date letters punched on gold were different.REGISTER TO VIEW
The Birmingham Assay Office cycles of 25 or 26 date letters started when the Birmingham office was founded in , nearly years later. Vintage Fashion Textiles. From the carat value of gold was also shown and for silver the decimal value of the standard was used.REGISTER TO VIEW
A letter mark coinciding with the date of assay was first introduced in London in For many reasons town silversmiths in Ireland and Scotland seldom sent their plate to Edinburgh, Glasgow or Dublin to be assayed. Silver had to be.REGISTER TO VIEW REGISTER TO VIEW