MATTHEW BOULTON
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MARKS - HALLMARKS - HISTORY

Boulton was not a "goldsmith" or a "silversmith" in the accepted sense, yet for his achievements and services to the craft of goldsmithing he is fully worthy of inclusion in the list of great English goldsmiths.
Matthew Boulton was born in Birmingham on 3 September 1728. His father Matthew Boulton (senior) was a "toy maker" and silver stamper specialized in the production of shoe-buckles.
Boulton junior was taken into partnership in 1749 and was left in sole charge of the business after the death of his father in 1759.
Boulton had the ambition to establish a manufacturing complex where craftsmen in the various branches of the "toy" trade would work together under one roof, enabling him to reap both wholesale and retail profits. In 1761 he realized his project purchasing a one-hundred- year-lease of the "Soho" estate at Handswoth Heath (two miles from Snow Hilton the Wolverhampton Road).
In 1762 Boulton took into unofficial partnership John Fothergill who would act as a travelling salesman to advertise his wares and the factory moved to Soho in the same year.
The partnership concentrated in the production of steel "toys" a little later on buttons and buckles made in a variety of substances, including , of course, silver. In 1762 Soho factory began to produce articles in "Sheffield" plate and one of the first to adopt "Sterling silver thread" edging which prevent to reveal the underlying copper.
Boulton soon became the largest manufacturer of "Sheffield plate" of the country expanding the business of Soho manufactory in the production of bijouterie, objects d'art and de virtue, in ormolu, pinchbeck and tortoise-shell, and in clocks.
In 1765 Boulton began the manufacture of pieces in solid silver, being obliged to send every piece of plate to Chester to be marked (Chester was the nearest assay office, 72 miles away from Birmingham). Boulton was the promoter a petition obtaining in 1773 the Royal Assent to assay silver in Birmingham (the same was for Sheffield).
Boulton & Fothergill entered their joint mark consisting of their initials, MB before IF. After the death of Fothergill (1782) Boulton punched his plate with his initials alone.
When manufacturers of plated ware were permitted to register their marks at the Assay Office in Sheffield (1784), Boulton registered his mark of "twin suns" under the name Boulton M. & Co.
The most important designers for Boulton plate in the neo-classic taste were Robert Adams and James Wyatt.
Matthew Boulton died on 17 August 1809.
The mark MB continued to be used by Matthew Boulton Plate Co until 1832.


STERLING SILVER HALLMARKS
Boulton & Fothergill, Chester 1768 Boulton & Fothergill, Chester 1768 Boulton & Fothergill, Chester 1768
Boulton & Fothergill, Birmingham 1774 Boulton & Fothergill, Birmingham 1774
Matthew Boulton, Birmingham 1797 Matthew Boulton, Birmingham 1797
Matthew Boulton Plate Co, Birmingham 1824 Matthew Boulton Plate Co, Birmingham 1824





OLD SHEFFIELD PLATE MARKS











BRITISH SILVER MAKERS: MARKS, HISTORY AND INFORMATION
Adie & Lovekin markAdie & Lovekin John Charle Angell & George Angell markAngell Family Asprey & Co markAsprey & Co Atkin Brothers markAtkin Brothers Barker Brothers markBarker Brothers E. Barnard & Sons markE.Barnard & Sons Hester Bateman markBateman Family Maurice Baum markMaurice Baum Barnabus Blackburn markB.Blackburn Boardman, Glossop & Co Ltd markBoardman,Glossop & Co Matthew Boulton markM.Boulton Charles Boyton & Son markC.Boyton & Son Thomas Bradbury & Sons markT.Bradbury & Sons Alfred Browett trade markA.Browett Chawner & Co markChawner & Co Alexander Clark Manufacturing Co markA.Clark Manufacturing Co G.R. Collis & Co markG.R.Collis & Co Augustin Courtauld markCourtauld Family Daniel & Arter markDaniel & Arter go to James Deakin & Sons pageJ.Deakin & Sons Deykin & Sons markDeykin & Sons James Dixon & Sons markJ.Dixon & Sons Dobson & Sons markDobson & Sons William Eley I and William Fearn markEley family Elkington hallmarkElkington & Co John Emes markEmes family Fattorini & Sons markFattorini & Sons Charles Thomas Fox and George Fox markFox family Garrard & Co Ltd markGarrard & Co Samuel Godbehere markS.Godbehere Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Co markGoldsmiths & Silversmiths Co John Grinsell & Sons markJ.Grinsell & Sons Hamilton & Inches markHamilton & Inches Hancock & Co markC.F.Hancock Harrison Brothers & Howson markHarrison Br. & Howson Hayne & Cater markHayne & Cater Hennell family markHennell family Holland Aldwinckle & Slater markHolland Aldwinckle & Slater Horton & Allday markHorton & Allday Hukin & Heath Ltd markHukin & Heath William Hutton & Sons Ltd markW.Hutton & Sons George Jamieson markG.Jamieson Lambert & Co trade markLambert & Co Paul De Lamerie markP.deLamerie Latham & Morton markLatham & Morton Levi & Salaman markLevi &  Salaman Charles Maas markC.Maas & Co Mappin & Webb markMappin & Webb Martin Hall & Co markMartin Hall & Co R.F. Mosley markR.F.Mosley Henry George Murphy markH.G.Murphy Pairpoint Brothers markPairpoint Brothers H.H. Plante markH.H.Plante Thomas Prime & Son markT.Prime & Son Robert Pringle & Sons markR.Pringle & Sons Omar Ramsden markO. Ramsden Reid & Sons markReid & Sons Richards & Brown markRichards & Brown Roberts & Belk markRoberts & Belk John Round & Son Ltd markJ.Round & Son Sampson Mordan & Co Ltd markSampson Mordan & Co Goldsmiths' Alliance Ltd  Ltd markA.B.Savory & Sons Sibray, Hall & Co markSibray, Hall & Co W & G Sissons markW & G Sissons Smily family markSmily Family Spurrier trade markSpurrier Paul Storr markP.Storr Tessiers Ltd trade markTessiers Ltd F.B. Thomas & Co markF.B.Thomas & Co George Unite & Sons markG.Unite & Sons C.J. Vander Ltd markC.J.Vander Wakely & Wheeler markWakely & Wheeler Walker & Hall markWalker & Hall D & J Wellby Ltd markD&J Wellby Ltd West & Son markWest & Son Henry Wilkison & Co markH.Wilkinson & Co Josiah Williams & Co markJ.Williams & Co Horace Woodward & Co Ltd markH.Woodward & Co
BRITISH SILVERSMITHS - ILLUSTRATED LISTING OF MAKER'S AND SPONSOR'S MARKS
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BRITISH TOWN MARKS AND DATE LETTERS

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This is a page of 'The What is? Silver Dictionary' of A Small Collection of Antique Silver and Objects of vertu, a 1500 pages richly illustrated website offering all you need to know about antique silver, sterling silver, silverplate, Sheffield plate, electroplate silver, silverware, flatware, tea services and tea complements, marks and hallmarks, articles, books, auction catalogs, famous silversmiths (Tiffany, Gorham, Jensen, Elkington), history, oddities ...
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