Dating english pottery marks
The marks on the bottom of a piece of silver can be an indication of the age, maker, and origin of the piece.A single mark usually indicates that the piece of silver was made in America, although there are some Irish and Scottish pieces with just the maker’s name.
Many makers used their last name, or first initial and last name. They were meant to mislead the public into believing that the silver was of English origin.Many unmarked pieces of American silver were made by 1825. By 1830 the words COIN, PURE COIN, DOLLAR, STANDARD, PREMIUM, or the letters “C” or “D” were placed on silver to indicate that it was 900 out of 1000 parts silver. STERLING means that 925 out of 1000 parts are silver. Gorham Silver Company used a special mark for their Martelé silver from 1899 to 1912.Martelé was made of silver of sterling or better quality, some with 950 parts silver to each 1000 parts.Silversmiths in Baltimore, Maryland, had a maker-date system from 1814 to 1830.An assay office was legally established in 1814, and marks were placed on all silver sold.
The head of liberty indicated quality; a date letter, the arms of the city of Baltimore, and the maker’s initials or name were included.