THOMAS BRADBURY & SONS
DATE LETTER MARKS ON SILVER PLATE

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DATING THOMAS BRADBURY & SONS SILVER PLATE

From centuries British silver is protected by the stamping of symbols and letters identifying the maker, the Assay Office and the date in which the quality of the silver piece was verified. Thanks to the "date letter" any piece of British sterling silver can be exactly dated.
Old Sheffield Plate and Electroplated silver are not subject to this practice and the regulation issued by the authorities had the main objective of preventing possible frauds by unscrupulous sellers of plated ware. The best-known initiative is the prohibition (effective from c. 1896: Elkington was forced to change its mark in 1898) of stamping plated wares with the "crown", to avoid misunderstanding with the symbol identifying the Sheffield Assay Office.
The absence of an official dating system makes it difficult to date silver plated wares. An approximate date can be determined by examining:
- the style of the object
- the presence or absence of the crown (before or after c. 1896)
- the date of registration of the pattern at the Patent Office
- the presence of a dated dedication
- the date of the event (example: King/Queen Coronation or Jubilee commemorative spoons)
- "Ltd" or "Ld" on the mark denotes a date after 1861 (but in most cases not before 1890)
- a registered number (Rd followed by a number) denotes a date after 1883
- "England" denotes a date after 1891 (mandatory for export in the USA - McKinley Tariff Act of 1890-)
- "Made in England" denotes a 20th century date (mandatory after 1921 for export in the USA)
The largest manufacturers introduced, on a voluntary basis, a dating system of their silver plate based on series of letters of various style contained into shields or geometric figures. The first was Elkington (1841), followed by Walker & Hall (1884) and Mappin & Webb (but other less known makers tried to do something similar).
In this website are available information on silverplate dating systems of:
Elkington (system fully decrypted);
Walker & Hall (system partially decrypted);
Mappin & Webb (an attempt of decrypting).

Until now (2020) no information was available about the Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate dating system.
After extensive research based on examination, comparison and evaluation of coherence of Bradbury's silverplate marks, British Registry Marks, dates on dedications and some other available information I have partially reconstructed the dating system of Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate.
The system is based on three series of date letters, the first (serif inside a lozenge) lasting from 1850 to 1875, the second (Old English inside a square) from 1876 to 1901 and the third from 1902 onwards. Until the mid 1890s, when its use was forbidden, a "crown" accompanied the maker's mark (TB & S).
The first two series are sufficiently documented, while the reconstruction of the third is hypothetical due to the scarcity of information.
Any new information, suggestion and addition of missing marks or dated dedications on Bradbury silverplate will be highly appreciated (mail to giobuse1@yahoo.it)



DATE LETTERS:
     
WALKER & HALL      ELKINGTON      MAPPIN & WEBB     THOMAS BRADBURY & SONS



FIRST SERIES: "SERIF" INTO A LOZENGE, 1850 - 1875



SECOND SERIES: "OLD ENGLISH" INTO A SQUARE, 1876 - 1901



THIRD SERIES: "SERIF" INTO A SQUARE, 1902 - 1927


FIRST SERIES: 1850 - 1875

Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, possible date 1853, D without contour
the recent discovery of a mark with the letter "D" missing of the lozenge suggests that in the period 1850-1853 (letters A - B - C - D) the date letter was devoid of the lozenge contour

Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1854, E into a lozenge
Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1855, F into a lozenge
Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1856, G into a lozenge
Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1860, K into a lozenge
Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1861, L into a lozenge
Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1862, M into a lozenge
Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1865, P into a lozenge
Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1868, S into a lozenge Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, UK Patent Office registry mark 22 November 1852
UK Patent Office registry mark, 22 November 1852

Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1869, T into a lozenge Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, UK Patent Office registry mark 22 November 1866
UK Patent Office registry mark, 22 November 1866

Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1870, U into a lozenge Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, UK Patent Office registry mark 22 November 1866
UK Patent Office registry mark, 22 November 1866

Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1871, V into a lozenge Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, UK Patent Office registry mark 11 May 1866
UK Patent Office registry mark, 11 May 1866

Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1872, W into a lozenge
Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1873, X into a lozenge Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, UK Patent Office registry mark 22 December 1866 Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1873, X into a lozenge Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, UK Patent Office registry mark 15 December 1870
UK Patent Office registry marks, 22 December 1866 and 15 December 1870

Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1874, Y into a lozenge Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, UK Patent Office registry mark 22 November 1853
UK Patent Office registry mark, 22 November 1853



SECOND SERIES: 1876 - 1901

Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1876, Old English A into a square
Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1877, Old English B into a square
Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1878, Old English C into a square Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, UK Patent Office registry mark 22 December 1865 Dedication on a silverplate tray, date 24 June 1878
UK Patent Office registry mark, 22 December 1865
Dedication on a silverplate tray, date 24 June 1878

Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1881, Old English F into a square
The mark "TB over JH" corresponds to the partnership of Thomas Bradbury III & John S. Henderson, lasting from 1877 to 1888

Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1882, Old English G into a square
Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1883, Old English H into a square
Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1884, Old English I into a square Thomas Bradbury III & John S. Henderson silverplate mark, date 1884, Old English I into a square Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, UK Patent Office registry mark 5 April 1880
The mark "TB over JH" corresponds to the partnership of Thomas Bradbury III & John S. Henderson, lasting from 1877 to 1888
UK Patent Office registry mark, 5 April 1880

Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1887, Old English L into a square
Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1888, Old English M into a square
Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1889, Old English N into a square
Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1891, Old English P into a square
Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1893, Old English R into a square
Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1895, Old English T into a square
Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1901, Old English Z into a square
After 1895, when the "crown" on silverplate was forbidden, Bradbury ceased to use the "crown" on its mark



THIRD SERIES: 1902 - 1927

Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1908, G into a square
Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1910, I into a square
Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1913, L into a square
Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1915, N into a square
Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1923, V into a square
Thomas Bradbury & Sons silverplate mark, date 1925, X into a square


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 markM. Baum Gerald Benney markG. Benney 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 Stuart Devlin markS.Devlin 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 Hawksworth, Eyre & Co Ltd markHawksworth Eyre & Co 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 Lister & Sons markLister & Sons 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
MARKS' IMAGES:    A&/AC    AD/AK    AL/AZ    B&/BB    BC/BO    BP/BZ    C&/CA    CB/CC    CD/CF    CG/CL    CM/CS    CT/CZ    D&/DB    DC/DL    DM/DZ    E&/EA    EB/ED    EE/EH    EI/EO    EP/EZ    F&/FD    FE/FJ    FK/FZ    G&/GB    GC/GG    GH/GL    GM/GR    GS/GZ    H&/H&    HA/HB    HC/HE    HF/HL    HM/HU    HV/HZ    I&/IG    IH/IL    IM/IZ    J&/JA    JB/JC    JD/JG    JH/JK    JL/JQ    JR/JR    JS/JS    JT/JZ    KA/KZ    L&/LB    LC/LZ    M&/MB    MC/MI    MJ/MZ    N&/NZ    OA/OZ    P&/PK    PL/PZ    QA/QZ    R&/RB    RC/RG    RH/RK    RL/RQ    RR/RZ    S&/SB    SC/SI    SJ/SR    SS/SZ    T&/TC    TD/TG    TH/TN    TO/TS    TT/TZ    UA/UZ    V&/VZ    W&/WA    WB/WB    WC/WC    WD/WE    WF/WG    WH/WL    WM/WM    WN/WR    WS/WS    WT/XZ    YA/YZ    ZA/ZZ   
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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