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tline3open  Unusual or rare hallmarks / duty marks

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Author Topic:   Unusual or rare hallmarks / duty marks
cbc58

Posts: 267
Registered: Aug 2008

iconnumber posted 01-07-2017 12:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cbc58     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As a new collector, recently learned through a prior post (Asheland - tip wear) that there are some unusual or rare hallmarks / duty marks out there.

Would like to learn if items with these marks are indeed more collectible or sought after, and if some might share what to be on the lookout for in terms of rarity/desirability.

This adds another dimension to the thrill of the hunt - and after reading about these rare marks, did a little searching and came across a spoon dated 1804 that has an extra letter "H" on it.

In searching as to what might be the reason for the H - came across this post made here by Silver Lyon back in 2006 (Georgian spoon):

    "The Oval King's Head duty mark is the one in use from 1798 and was used in 1804 from 16th May when the date letter changed from H until October 9th 1804.

    From October 10th 1804 the duty payable on silver was raised from 1/- (one shilling) to 1/3d (one shilling and three pence).

    To show that the greater duty had been paid, the duty mark was altered - gaining the 'blip' at the base - The was important as pieces that were exported could have the amount of duty paid reclaimed by the maker!"


Would this mean that this spoon would be able to be dated from Oct 10th - Dec 31st 1804? Would that make it more desirable to collectors?

Or is it the changeover from H to I what he is referring to and this "H" might mean something else...

Asheland commented:

    "Some rare hallmarks that come to mind is the duty drawback mark, and the Darby patent mark.
    (both 1780's)".

Might there be others? Thank you in advance.


[This message has been edited by cbc58 (edited 01-07-2017).]

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agphile

Posts: 798
Registered: Apr 2008

iconnumber posted 01-07-2017 01:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for agphile     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The H is not part of the hallmark on this spoon and not what Silver Lyon was referring to. At this date the hallmarks on spoons (lion passant, leopard’s head, date letter and duty mark) were in a stub rather than struck separately. The stub with date letter i was used from May 1804 to May1805, with the “blip” at the base of the duty mark present from October onwards. The blip would also have been there on the duty head punches used on items where the marks were struck separately, of course.

I am afraid I do not know what the H signifies here. It seems very unlikely to be a journeyman’s mark. They are usually more modest devices struck close to the maker’s mark. Nor does it seem much like an owner’s or a retailer’s mark.

From time to time one comes across unexplained marks like this. Less often found is a bit of research that provides an explanation for any of them. Maybe somebody will pop up with something on this H.

I don’t collect marks so am not the person to advise on other possible rarities. (That is, I collect silver and the marks are invaluable for understanding the pieces, but I don’t buy an item for its marks. Nothing against others who do).

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cbc58

Posts: 267
Registered: Aug 2008

iconnumber posted 01-07-2017 02:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cbc58     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you for the information. So the duty mark with the blip puts this after Oct. 10th.

The H is a mystery. Nothing like a good mystery.

[This message has been edited by cbc58 (edited 01-07-2017).]

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asheland

Posts: 925
Registered: Nov 2003

iconnumber posted 01-09-2017 12:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for asheland     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That H is interesting. My guess is the same, likely a journeyman's mark or possibly a retailer?

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asheland

Posts: 925
Registered: Nov 2003

iconnumber posted 01-09-2017 12:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for asheland     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'd recommend a copy of "Jackson's Hallmarks" It shows most of these markings. Even the pocket edition is pretty good...

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cbc58

Posts: 267
Registered: Aug 2008

iconnumber posted 01-09-2017 02:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cbc58     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you for mentioning that book - might get it but am still waiting for my book on spoons which should be here shortly.

There is a wealth of knowledge out on the web and have learned some more about rare and unusual marks. Have come across two pieces of silver for sale that have that short-duration duty mark like on your basting spoon. Not yet comfortable enough on their scarcity to determine if they would be a good investment to own. Both in very good - excellent condition and selling at about 3x material value.

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asheland

Posts: 925
Registered: Nov 2003

iconnumber posted 01-10-2017 10:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for asheland     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If you are unsure about a piece based on price, I'd recommend you hold off. It's best that you are comfortable with your purchases when starting off. Even I am unsure about the investment aspect of these duty marks.

As far as I understand, outside of the "Duty drawback mark" and the "Darby patent mark", they don't matter much as far as adding extra value.

I stand to be corrected on that, but from what I see they don't matter much value wise, they are just neat to have.

I got my basting spoon basically for the silver weight (I have friends in the trade) smile so there was literally no downside buying it despite the tip wear.

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cbc58

Posts: 267
Registered: Aug 2008

iconnumber posted 01-10-2017 02:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cbc58     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the advice. I have passed on quite a few opportunities not knowing what I was really buying. Just received my book on flatware and have already learned a few things. Lot's of silver out there...


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asheland

Posts: 925
Registered: Nov 2003

iconnumber posted 01-11-2017 12:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for asheland     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's a great book to have for this.

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agleopar

Posts: 847
Registered: Jun 2004

iconnumber posted 01-13-2017 09:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for agleopar     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My bestie in London, who has been collecting spoons since Noah had this to say about the Haich...
    "These are invariably retailers marks and occasionally owners marks.

    Madly difficult to trace- especially with one letter- I have two Irish retailers marks on London made spoons, so distance might come into play. There is a beautiful 18th c mark reading TAX that infuriates all us 'marks of wonderful obscurity' people. It must belong to Theodore Alexander Xcercis, because the best minds in the business cannot tie it into anything to do with tax!"

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Clive E Taylor

Posts: 450
Registered: Jul 2000

iconnumber posted 01-18-2017 10:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Clive E Taylor     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A point to remember is that not all assay and makers marks are official .In this case the maker is probably George Wintle whose output is one of the most suspectof all makers.
He was not brought to trial until 1813 after a mass raid on his factory in 1812 by Goldsmiths' Hall discovered numerous fake punches. However I have reason to believe that the forgery of assay marks on a large scale had been going on since the early 1780's, perhaps an attempt to evade the newly introduced duty.Further evidence also suggests that he had several makers punches made for his use which were never registered. And he got away with it !

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