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A thing I had to do today

Today, as part of a parcel of documents relating to the early history of the local Girl Guides troop (Girl Scouts to you ‘n’ me), we received a small silver bowl that was given as a prize. I was asked to interpret the hallmarks.

So here you go. There are four or five marks on a fully hallmarked bit of British silver.

The Standard Mark identifies it as sterling. This one – the lion passant – means it was assayed in London or other English assay office.

The Town Mark is what it sounds like. The crown is for Sheffield.

Some hallmarks have a Duty Mark, which tells you if duty has been paid. It’s a queen or king’s head. This one doesn’t have it.

Now that we know the town, we can look up the Date Letters for Sheffield. This is a little harder. There are several lowercase G or Q marks. I’m calling this one for 1908 based on the gothic style letter. It fits with the provenance of the object, but there’s a little knob on the corner of the letter worries me a bit.

Finally, the Maker’s Mark. HW in a plain rectangle – I made this out as Henry Wilkinson – a fine Sheffield silversmith. I was chuffed.

But then I noticed the dot between the H and the W, which would make it Henry Wigful. Who at least has the redemptive quality of an amusing last name.

And that’s that. Now the lot goes into a box and the box goes into a cupboard and there it will lie until some future scholar asks some future office weasel what she has on the Girl Guides.

October 4, 2022 — 7:51 pm
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