WALKER & HALL
DATE LETTER MARKS ON SILVER PLATE

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DATING WALKER & HALL 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).
The key to decrypt Elkington date system is well known and widely illustrated in my website ( click here for Elkington page).
The key to Walker & Hall is available in the book, covered by copyright, "The key to date letters to be found on Walker & Hall Silver Plated Wares" compiled by P.A. Hulme (contact at www.wichwood.com). Covering the period from 1884-1959 these tables will enable you date your pieces accurately.
In this page I present only a selection of Walker & Hall marks and rough indications about the period of their use as resulting by my researches.
Any new information, suggestion and addition of missing marks will be highly appreciated (mail to silverassociation@yahoo.it )

(click on the photo to enlarge the image)
The trade mark of Walker & Hall is a pennant (tapering flag commonly flown by ships at sea) containing the initials W & H. To follow the evolution of the shape of the flag in sterling silver hallmarks or in other dated documents is a useful reference for the approximate dating of silver plate marks.

There are essentially three types of flags:

- Type A: early period (from c. 1860 to c. 1900)
Walker & Hall: c. 1878 Walker & Hall: trade mark on receipt dated 1883 Walker & Hall: hallmark Sheffield 1889 Walker & Hall: hallmark Sheffield 1894 Walker & Hall: hallmark Sheffield 1895
- Type B: medium period (from late 19th century to WWI)
Walker & Hall: hallmark Sheffield 1896 Walker & Hall: hallmark Sheffield 1901 Walker & Hall: hallmark Sheffield 1902 Walker & Hall: hallmark Sheffield 1903 Walker & Hall: hallmark Sheffield 1908
- Type C: last period (after c. 1910)
Walker & Hall: hallmark Sheffield 1910 Walker & Hall: hallmark Sheffield 1915 Walker & Hall: trade mark on a 1954 stainless steel blade Walker & Hall: trade mark on case containing 1970 spoons
Walker & Hall used series of date letters of different style (uppercase, lowercase, gothic, Greek alphabet, etc.) contained into a lobed contour and in four shields of various shapes.
Walker & Hall: date letter contour type 1 Walker & Hall: date letter contour type 2 Walker & Hall: date letter contour type 3 Walker & Hall: date letter contour type 4 Walker & Hall: date letter contour type 5 .
  type 1
  type 2
    type 3
  type 4
  type 5
.

Series of lowercase letters of the Greek alphabet (this alphabet comprises 24 characters)
(c. 1885 - c. 1905)

Flag of type A (early period) and type B (medium period).
Shield of type 2 (spoons) and type 3 (tea sets, bowls and hollowware).

Presumably the first series of date letters used between late 19th/early 20th century as:
- letter "tau" seen on a plate with dedication dated 1903.
Assuming that date letter "tau" refers to 1903, the series lasted from c. 1885 to c. 1908.
The letters "sigma" and "omega" used uppercase characters.
Greek alphabet
Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'beta', flag type A, shield type 3 Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'gamma', flag type A, shield type 2 Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'delta', flag type A, shield type 2 Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'epsilon', flag type A, shield type 3 Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'zeta', flag type A, shield type 3 Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'eta', flag type A, shield type 3 Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'theta', flag type A, shield type 3 Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'iota', flag type A, shield type 2 Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'kappa', flag type A, shield type 3 Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'lambda', flag type A, shield type 3 Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'lambda', flag type A, shield type 2 Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'mu', flag type A, shield type 3 Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'nu', flag type A, shield type 3 Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'nu', flag type A, shield type 2 Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'omicron', flag type A, shield type 3 Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'omicron', flag type A, shield type 2 Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'pi', flag type A, shield type 3 Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'pi', flag type A, shield type 2 Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'rho', flag type A, shield type 2 Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'sigma' (uppercase), flag type A, shield type 3 Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'sigma' (uppercase), flag type A, shield type 2 Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'tau', flag type A, shield type 3 (date c. 1903) Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'upsilon', flag type A, shield type 3 Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'upsilon', flag type A, shield type 2 Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'phi', flag type A, shield type 3 Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'phi', flag type A, shield type 2 Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'chi', flag type A, shield type 3 Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'psi', flag type A, shield type 3 Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'psi', flag type A, shield type 2 Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'omega' (uppercase), flag type A, shield type 3 Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'omega' (uppercase), flag type A, shield type 2

Series of Hebrew letters
(c. 1905- c. 1910)

Hebrew alphabet (written from right to left)
Flag of type B (medium period).
Shield of type 2 (on spoons, crumb scoop and candlestick) and type 3 (tea sets, bowls and hollowware).
Seen letters Vet, Dalet and Hey (possibly)
Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'possibly Hebrew letter Aleph', flag type B, shield type 2 Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'possibly Hebrew letter Vet', flag type B, shield type 3 Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'possibly Hebrew letter Vet', flag type B, shield type 2 Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'possibly Hebrew letter Dalet', flag type B, shield type 2 Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'possibly Hebrew letter Hey', flag type B, shield type 3 Walker & Hall silverplate mark 'possibly Hebrew letter Hey', flag type B, shield type 2

Series of lowercase alphabet letters in Gothic style
(c. 1910 - c. 1920)

Flag of type B (medium period).
Shield of type 2 (on spoons and candlesticks) and type 3 (tea sets, bowls and hollowware).
Series used in the 1910s as:
- lowercase Gothic "m" seen on the blade of a knife with sterling silver handle hallmarked Sheffield 1911
Walker & Hall silverplate mark Gothic lowercase 'm', flag type B, shield type 2 Walker & Hall silverplate mark Gothic lowercase 't', flag type B, shield type 3 Walker & Hall silverplate mark Gothic lowercase 't', flag type B, shield type 2 Walker & Hall silverplate mark Gothic lowercase 'u', flag type B, shield type 3 Walker & Hall silverplate mark Gothic lowercase 'v', flag type B, shield type 3 Walker & Hall silverplate mark Gothic lowercase 'w', flag type B, shield type 3 Walker & Hall silverplate mark Gothic lowercase 'x', flag type B, shield type 2 Walker & Hall silverplate mark Gothic lowercase 'y', flag type B, shield type 2
The mark below bearing "u" gothic mark suggests an early 20th century date, but presents the following anomalies:
- the W&H is written in gothic characters;
- the "flag" is missing
- there is a "crown" over EP into a shield, but the use of this symbol in silverplate ware was forbidden by Sheffield Assay Office c. 1895 (Elkington itself deleted the crown from its mark in 1898).
Walker & Hall silverplate mark Gothic lowercase 'u', flag type B, shield type 2

Series of lowercase Latin alphabet letters
(c. 1920 - c. 1930)

Flag of type C (last period).
Shield of type 5 (spoons and hollowware).
Letter "m" seen also with double flag.
This series was used in the 1920s as:
- Letter "b" seen on the blade of a set of knives bearing sterling silver ferrule hallmarked Sheffield 1919
- Letter "m" seen on the blade of a fish server bearing sterling silver ferrule hallmarked Sheffield 1930
Walker & Hall silverplate mark lowercase 'a', flag type C, shield type 5 Walker & Hall silverplate mark lowercase 'b', flag type C, shield type 5 Walker & Hall silverplate mark lowercase 'c', flag type C, shield type 5 Walker & Hall silverplate mark lowercase 'd', flag type C, shield type 5 Walker & Hall silverplate mark lowercase 'e', flag type C, shield type 5 Walker & Hall silverplate mark lowercase 'f', flag type C, shield type 5 Walker & Hall silverplate mark lowercase 'g', flag type C, shield type 5 Walker & Hall silverplate mark lowercase 'h', flag type C, shield type 5 Walker & Hall silverplate mark lowercase 'i', flag type C, shield type 5 Walker & Hall silverplate mark lowercase 'k', flag type C, shield type 5 Walker & Hall silverplate mark lowercase 'l', flag type C, shield type 5 Walker & Hall silverplate mark lowercase 'm', flag type C, shield type 5 Walker & Hall silverplate mark lowercase 'm', double flag type C, shield type 5 Walker & Hall silverplate mark lowercase 'n', flag type C, shield type 5

Series of uppercase Latin alphabet letters
(c. 1930 - c. 1950)

Flag of type C (last period).
Shield of type 4.
Series that began in the early 1930s as:
- letter "G" seen on a tankard bearing dedication dated "3rd October 1936"
This series lasted until c. 1952 (a knife bearing the series with shield of type 1 bears Sheffield Assay Office hallmarks with date letter 1952)
Walker & Hall silverplate mark uppercase 'D', flag type C, shield type 4 Walker & Hall silverplate mark uppercase 'F', flag type C, shield type 4 Walker & Hall silverplate mark uppercase 'G', flag type C, shield type 4 Walker & Hall silverplate mark uppercase 'H', flag type C, shield type 4 Walker & Hall silverplate mark uppercase 'J', flag type C, shield type 4 Walker & Hall silverplate mark uppercase 'K', flag type C, shield type 4 Walker & Hall silverplate mark uppercase 'L', flag type C, shield type 4 Walker & Hall silverplate mark uppercase 'M', flag type C, shield type 4 Walker & Hall silverplate mark uppercase 'N', flag type C, shield type 4 Walker & Hall silverplate mark uppercase 'O', flag type C, shield type 4 Walker & Hall silverplate mark uppercase 'P', flag type C, shield type 4 Walker & Hall silverplate mark uppercase 'S', flag type C, shield type 4 Walker & Hall silverplate mark uppercase 'T', flag type C, shield type 4 Walker & Hall silverplate mark uppercase 'U', flag type C, shield type 4 Walker & Hall silverplate mark uppercase 'W', flag type C, shield type 4 Walker & Hall silverplate mark uppercase 'X', flag type C, shield type 4 Walker & Hall silverplate mark uppercase 'Y', flag type C, shield type 4 Walker & Hall silverplate mark uppercase 'Z', flag type C, shield type 4

Series of uppercase Latin alphabet letters
(after c. 1950 until c. 1958)

Flag of type C (last period).
Contour of type 1. This series followed that using the shield of type 4. It lasted from c. 1952 as the date letter "D" was found on a knife bearing Sheffield Assay Office hallmarks with date letter 1952 on the ferrule. The letter date "J" was found on a mug bearing a measure mark dated 1958
Walker & Hall silverplate mark uppercase 'D', flag type C, contour type 1 c. 1952 Walker & Hall silverplate mark uppercase 'H', flag type C, contour type 1 Walker & Hall silverplate mark uppercase 'J', flag type C, contour type 1


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R,F. Mosley mark Thomas Prime & Son mark Robert Pringle & Sons mark Roberts & Belk mark John Round & Son Ltd mark Goldsmiths' Alliance Ltd  Ltd mark Sibray, Hall & Co mark W & G Sissons mark George Unite & Sons mark Wakely & Wheeler mark
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AB Savory & Sons Ltd
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Walker & Hall mark West & Son mark Henry Wilkison & Co mark Josiah Williams & Co mark Horace Woodward & Co Ltd mark . . . . .
Walker & Hall
West & Son
H.Wilkinson & Co
Josiah Williams & Co
H.Woodward & Co
. . . . .

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