A SMALL COLLECTION OF ANTIQUE SILVER
AND OBJECTS OF VERTU
THE WHAT IS? SILVER DICTIONARY

HOW TO READ, DECRYPT AND IDENTIFY
THE MARKS ON ENGLISH SILVERPLATE AND ELECTROPLATED SILVER

click here for THE STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO TRACE ENGLISH / BRITISH SILVERPLATE

QUICK ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS

WHAT MEAN EPNS AND EPBM?

EPNS and EPBM are the acronyms more frequently used to identify English silverplate, EPNS stands for Electro Plated Nickel Silver and EPBM stands for Electro Plated Britannia Metal..... MORE...

WHAT ABOUT A NUMBER NEXT TO THE MARK?

This is the production/pattern/stock number used by the firm to identify the item. Never assume these numbers as date of production of the piece

A1 OR AI, WHAT MEANS?

This is a code identifying the quality of the plating. "A1" or "AI" is the best quality (next A, B, C and D)

WHAT MEAN THE "S" AND "& S"?

The "S" stands for Sheffield. The "& S"" stands for "& Son" or "& Sons"

WHAT THE MEANING OF SYMBOLS ACCOMPANYING MAKER'S INITIALS IN SILVERPLATE MARKS?

Often silverplate manufacturers adopted punches composed of a sequence of symbols (stars, crown, fleur-de-lys, etc.) and letters similar to that used by Assay Offices for sterling silver hallmarking. They are "pseudo hallmarks" without a specific meaning..... MORE...


THE PRESENCE OF A "CROWN" ON A MARK CAN BE USEFUL IN DATING A PIECE?

The use of the "crown" on silverplate wares was tolerated for about 50 years, until, in c. 1895, a new intervention of the authorities reaffirmed the prohibition of the use of the crown in silverplate as it was seen as an imitation of the Sheffield silver mark. The presence of the "crown" signifies that the piece was made before c. 1895...... MORE...

WHAT THE "LOZENGE (DIAMOND)" OR "RD" MEAN?

The lozenge (diamond) and the "Rd" are the date of registration of the model at the UK Patent Office. The lozenge (diamond) was used between 1842 and 1883 and the "Rd" from 1884 onwards. Successful models have been maintained in production for a long time and the date of the patent signifies only that the piece was made after that date...... MORE...

HOW TO IDENTIFY THE MAKER WHEN THERE IS A PICTORIAL MARK INSTEAD OF MAKER'S INITIALS?

The maker's initials are the more common presence in silverplate marks. For pictorial maker's marks you can refer to the illustrated list of this site...... MORE...

HOW TO IDENTIFY THE MAKER WHEN THERE IS ONLY A "TRADE NAME"?

As part of their commercial strategy, silverplate makers devised a variety of trade names to stamp on their products next to or in substitution of the trade mark (Martinoid, Culfonia, Leviathan, Bengal silver, Nevada silver, Brazilian silver, Britanoid, etc.). To identify the makers you can refer to the illustrated trade names list of this site...... MORE...



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