Dating elkington silver plate

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The first London silver hallmark to be used was the leopards head, in the year 1300.

In that year, a decree by Edward I laid down that silver or gold could not be made or sold unless it was marked by the leopard’s head or The King’s Mark, as it was then known.

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Antique silver hallmarks have been used to control the quality of goods made of silver since the 14th century and the organisation that regulates the craft, Goldsmiths Hall, gave the world the term hallmark.

Scottish hallmarks have been regulated by statute since 1457 but the earliest known example dates only from 1556 to 1557.

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dating elkington silver plate-86

A false silver hallmark has always been treated with the utmost severity by the law and in the past a silversmith was pilloried for their first offence, where they would be pelted with rotten fruit and vegetables.

Which had incidentally, been used as the gold assay mark for Sheffield when the Assay Office was first entitled to test gold, after March 1st 1904.

Between 17 the crown is often incorporated with the date letter struck on small objects.

This mark became crowned in 1478 and remained crowned until 1821.

Since 1821, the uncrowned leopard’s head has remained as the distinguishing mark of London.

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