Thursday, September 19, 2013

Decoding Silver Hallmarks

We often get asked to help in Hallmark Identification and, when we have the time, are happy to oblige.
We will show some of them on the blog and hopefully it will help you in your search or quest for more knowledge.
Mesage From Client:
"I have a Solid Silver case for matches which has a makers name that I cannot find. I have attached pictures of the piece. DSC02799 shows the hall marks.
OM Maker that I cannot identify
Anchor I think is Birmingham
Lion that I believe is after 1850
B or g early 1900’s
Could you help please.


Our Silver Expert's Response:
This piece is a Vesta Case and would have been attached to a gentleman's Albert silver chain (watch chain for waistcoat) thus the small ring at the top of the case to attach the piece.
The piece itself is sterling silver and was assayed in Birmingham in 1906/07 as indicated by the anchor and the date letter 'g.' The maker's letters 'WO' are for William Oxley, a silversmith about whom very little is known. Oxley was first recorded as carrying on business at 118 Mildmay Road, Mildmay Park, Islington, London, N 16, on 6th January 1904 and later at 1 Murton Street, City Road, London EC on 14th February 1906. This latter address was also his private address and it is probable that he only carried on his own business as a silversmith for a very short time. He is recorded as being a stick mounter, which is someone who puts silver collars and similar decorations on walking sticks.
[Acknowledgements: (a) The Directory of Gold & Silversmiths, Jewellery and Allied Trades 1838-1914 by John Culme and (b) Jacksons Hallmarks
In the Features Section of our website we have a selection of Silver Makers Marks and a page on how to identify silver hallmarks for reference purposes.


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