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  Does the '84' mark always mean Russian silver?

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Author Topic:   Does the '84' mark always mean Russian silver?
Petrell2006

Posts: 3
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 04-06-2006 09:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Petrell2006     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm a new member and would like some help with a question that I haven't been able to find an answer to. I'm sure there's an expert out there who can help.

I'm familiar with Russian hallmarks and the use of the '84' hallmark to indicate the grade of silver used in pre-revolutionary Russia.

However, I have often come across flatware marked '84' (the mark was in a small square box) but without any other accompanying Russian marks. The best example I can think of is a fork, where the box was placed just below the tines of the fork on the right. To the left there was a similar box with either a series of other numbers or letters in it (none of them Cyrillic). This kind of silver is often sold on EBay, sometimes as Russian silver.

This flatware doesn't look to me to be pre-revolutionary Russian flatware, but perhaps comes from another European location? Could it be French? Is it silver or plated? What does the 84 mark mean in this context? Thanks in advance for your answers.

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blakstone

Posts: 493
Registered: Jul 2004

posted 04-06-2006 02:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for blakstone     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Your assumption is correct; "84" does not always indicate the old Russian standard of 84/96 or .875.

It can also represent a silver plate quality mark, indicating the total amount of silver contained in a specified number of pieces - generally one dozen each of table spoons and forks (24 total). That is, these 24 pieces would contain a total 84 grams of pure silver. Therefore, the higher this number, the better the quality of plate; 90 is probably most common, though I have seen 45, 60, 80 and other amounts.

The rest of your assumptions are on target as well; marks placed as you describe are quite often French (with the maker's mark in a square). You present a good reminder that one should never zero in on a single mark to make an ID; style, construction and all the marks must be taken into consideration.

Good instincts!

[This message has been edited by blakstone (edited 04-06-2006).]

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sazikov2000

Posts: 254
Registered: Jan 2005

posted 04-06-2006 06:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sazikov2000     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is still another 84 mark on silver - Persian silver. Why 84 like Russia? Persia was at a certain time a Russian vasalle state and used to stamp their silver like the Russians. This Persian silver is often seen at eBays, declared as Russian silver. But the letters are not Cyrillic, they are in Efarsi (looks like Arab) and the overall look of this silver is very oriental.

Sazikov 2000

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Petrell2006

Posts: 3
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 04-07-2006 08:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Petrell2006     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you both very much for your quick response to my question. I hadn't thought before that the 84 mark was analogous to the 90 mark commonly used ((e.g. in Germany) on silver plate.

On a more general note, is anyone aware of a guide to marks on French silver plate? I have a plated tastevin (19th or early 20th century) which bears a mark (figure 2 in a small box) and have seen other similar marks with a figure 1 or even 4, but don't know exactly what they signify or how the French hallmarking system for silver plate was or is organised.

Thanks again, Petrell2006

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Kimo

Posts: 1232
Registered: Mar 2003

posted 04-07-2006 04:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you provide some clear overall photos of your flatware and tastevin and clear closeup photos of the markings, and a bit of information on your interest these things we could be of more help. Without seeing the objects and their markings and knowing of your interest in them anything we tell you is just guesswork as to what you have. For example, the French markings on silverplate typically include a number where 1 signifies the heaviest amount of silver plating and lower numbers signify less silver, but the numbers could be something else on a given object.

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Petrell2006

Posts: 3
Registered: Mar 2006

posted 04-10-2006 07:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Petrell2006     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Kimo for your answer. I'll have a go at taking some pictures.

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