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

SILVER HALLMARKS WORLDWIDE OVERVIEW worldwide hallmarks overview

The word "HALLMARK" derives from the fact that precious metals were sent to the London Goldsmiths' Hall for testing to ensure that the correct standard of silver had been used.
In most countries, silver objects are stamped with one or more hallmarks indicating the purity of the metal and the mark of the manufacturer or silversmith. Other marks can indicate the date of manufacture and additional information about the piece.
In some countries, the testing of precious metal objects and marking of purity is controlled by a national assay office.
Depending on the national legislation the use of hallmarks may be compulsory, voluntary or provided by a manufacturer's declaration.
This page presents a general overview on a series of national hallmarking systems. More detailed information and further hallmarks are available following the respective links.



AUSTRALIA
Australia: Alexander Dick, New South Wales,  c. 1837 1 Australia: Fairfax & Roberts, Sydney, since 1920 2 Australia: William Kerr, Sydney, active 1870s/1930s 3 Australia: Arold F. Sargison, Hobart, active 1920 - c.1980 4 Australia: Jochim Matthias Wendt, Adelaide, c.1850s- c.1910s 5
1: Alexander Dick, New South Wales, c. 1837     2: Fairfax & Roberts, Sydney, since 1920     3: William Kerr, Sydney, active 1870s/1930s     4: Arold F. Sargison, Hobart, active 1920 - c.1980     5: Jochim Matthias Wendt, Adelaide, c.1850s- c.1910s

No form of official mark or date letter system was introduced into the hallmarking of Australian silver. Early Australian silversmiths marked their objects with their full name or initials and imitations of English hallmarks as leopard's heads, lions and anchors. In 1988 was formed the Gold and Silversmiths Guild of Australia. A voluntary system of marking was introduced (maker's mark, standard mark, guild mark and date letter).

AUSTRALIAN MARKS PAGES



AUSTRIA
Austria: 13 lot fineness, 1810-1866 1 Austria: large articles, .800 fineness, 1872-1922 2 Austria: large articles, .750 fineness, 1872-1922 3 Austria: small articles, .750 fineness, 1872-1922 4 Austria: Vienna import mark 1872-1902 5 Austria: Vienna import mark 1902-1937 6 Austria: .800 fineness, 1922-2001 7
1: 13 lot fineness, 1810-1866     2: large articles, .800 fineness, 1872-1922     3: large articles, .750 fineness, 1872-1922     4: small articles, .750 fineness, 1872-1922     5: Vienna import mark 1872-1902     6: Vienna import mark 1902-1937     7: .800 fineness, 1922-2001

AUSTRIAN HALLMARKS PAGE



BELGIUM
Belgium: .934 fineness, 1814-1831 1 Belgium: .833 fineness, 1814-1831 and Assay Office Gand/Gent (D) 2 Belgium: warranty mark, 1814-1831 3 Belgium: 'recense' 1831 4 Belgium: .950 fineness, 1831-1868 5 Belgium: .800 fineness, 1831-1868 6 Belgium: warranty mark, 1831-1868 7 Belgium: Assay Office Liège/Luik (D), 1831-1868 8 Belgium: .900 and .800 fineness, voluntary mark, 1869-1942 9
1: .934 fineness, 1814-1831     2: .833 fineness, 1814-1831 and Assay Office Gand/Gent (D)     3: warranty mark, 1814-1831     4: 'recense' 1831     5: .950 fineness, 1831-1868     6: .800 fineness, 1831-1868     7: warranty mark, 1831-1868     8: Assay Office Liège/Luik (D), 1831-1868     9: .900 and .800 fineness, voluntary mark, 1869-1942    

From 1942 to 1990 silverware was marked on a voluntary basis with a four-petal flower and the fineness mark featured the letter A followed by the fineness indication within an oval frame.
Silver fineness was .900 and .800 (1942-1990, letter code A), raised to .925 and .835 after 1990 (letter code AG)
Belgium: .830 fineness and J. Roosen, Bruxelles maker's mark
.800 fineness and Walraevens & Cie maker's mark
Belgium: .830 fineness and J. Roosen, Bruxelles maker's mark
.830 fineness and J. Roosen, Bruxelles maker's mark (note the use of A830 unknown to literature)

BELGIUM MARKS PAGE

BELGIUM PRESENT MARKS PAGE



BRAZIL
Brazil: Rio de Janeiro, maker Bennassi Bernard, c.1810 1 Brazil: maker José Ferreira Guimaraes, c. 1850 2 Brazil: Rio de Janeiro, unidentified maker 3
1: Rio de Janeiro, maker Bennassi Bernard, c.1810     2: José Ferreira Guimaraes, c. 1850     3: Rio de Janeiro, unidentified maker

BRAZIL MARKS PAGE



CANADA
CANADIAN MAKER'S MARKS PAGE


CHANNEL ISLANDS
CHANNEL ISLANDS MAKER'S MARKS PAGE


DENMARK
The first Danish hallmarking was made in Copenhagen at the end of the 15th century.
Later, other cities as Aalbotg, Aarhus, Odense and Viborg introduced their own mark as a guarantee of precious metals.
In 1893 the "Three-tower" mark of Copenhagen was adopted as the national mark in the new standardized hallmarking system. Copenhagen had the only Assay Office in Denmark.
Three-tower mark date 1893 Three-tower mark date 1914 Three-tower mark date 1919 Three-tower mark date 1923 Three-tower mark date 1925 Three-tower mark date 1926 Three-tower mark date 1939

DANISH HALLMARKS PAGE



ESTONIA
Russian hallmarks were used from 1840 to 1918 and from 1946 to 1990
In the period 1919-1924 was used a re-hallmarking mark "EW + flower" (Eesti Wabariik/Estonian Republic). Silver content was expressed in zolotniki (84)
The lion moving left mark into an oval together with silver content (800, 875, 900 and 935) was introduced in 1922.
A similar mark was reinstated after independence from Soviet Union.
Estonia: rehallmarking mark 1919-1924 1 Estonia: rehallmarking mark 1919-1924 2 Estonia: Russian/Estonian mark - unidentified Moscow silversmith and Joseph Kopf (Tallinn) 3 Estonia: Russian/Estonian mark - Hirsch Markowitsch (Tallinn) 4 Estonia: Richard Lange (Tallinn) 5 Estonia: Theodor Grühn (Tallinn) 6
1: re-hallmarking mark 1919-1924     2: re-hallmarking mark 1919-1924     3: Russian/Estonian mark - unidentified Moscow silversmith and Joseph Kopf (Tallinn)     4: Hirsch Markowitsch (Tallinn)     5: Richard Lange     6: Theodor Grühn (Tallinn)

ESTONIA MARKS PAGE

ESTONIA PRESENT MARKS PAGE



FRANCE
ANCIENT HALLMARKS (ANCIEN REGIME)
France Ancien Regime: silversmith mark André-Denis Nesme c. 1720 1 France Ancien Regime: mark of charge 1703-1708 2 France Ancien Regime: mark of discharge 1717-1722 3 France Ancien Regime: mark of 'jurande' 1774-1775 4
1 silversmith mark André-Denis Nesme c. 1720     2: mark of charge 1703-1708     3: mark of discharge 1717-1722     4: mark of 'jurande' 1774-1775    

FRENCH ANCIEN REGIME HALLMARKS PAGE

FROM 1798 TO PRESENT
France: .950 fineness, Paris 1798-1809 1 France: .800 fineness, Paris 1798-1809 2 France: .950 fineness, Paris 1809-1819 3 France: .800 fineness, Paris 1809-1819 4 France: Guaranty medium objects Paris, 1809-1819 5 France: .950 fineness, Paris 1819-1838 6 France: Guaranty large objects, Paris 1819-1838 7 France: .950 fineness, 1838-1873 8 France: .800 fineness, 1838-1873 9 France: Export silver, 1878-1973 10
1: .950 fineness, Paris 1798-1809     2: France: .800 fineness, Paris 1798-1809     3: .950 fineness, Paris 1809-1819     4: .800 fineness, Paris 1809-1819     5: Guaranty medium objects Paris, 1809-1819     6: .950 fineness, Paris 1819-1838     7: Guaranty large objects, Paris 1819-1838     8: .950 fineness, 1838-1873     9: .800 fineness, 1838-1873     10: Export silver, 1878-1973

FRENCH HALLMARKS 1798 - PRESENT PAGE



GERMANY
GERMANY MARKS FROM 1888 PAGE

GERMANY ANCIENT MARKS

GERMANY HANAU MARKS

GERMANY PRESENT MARKS PAGE



ITALY
ANCIENT STATES
Italy Ancient States: Genoa 1 Italy Ancient States: Lombardo Veneto 2 Italy Ancient States: Naples 3 Italy Ancient States: Rome 4 Italy Ancient States: Turin 5 Italy Ancient States: Sicily 6 Italy Ancient States: Venice 7
1: Genoa     2: Lombardo Veneto     3: Naples     4: Rome     5: Turin     6: Sicily     7: Venice

ITALIAN ANCIENT STATES HALLMARKS PAGES:   GENOA    LOMBARDO VENETO    NAPLES    ROME    TURIN    SICILY    VENICE

FROM 1872 TO PRESENT
Italy: .950 fineness, 1872-1935 1 Italy: .900 fineness, 1872-1935 2 Italy: .800 fineness, 1872-1935 3 Italy: town and maker's code, 1935-1944 4 Italy: town and maker's code, 1945-1970 5 Italy: Italy: town and maker's code, 1971-present 6
1: .950 fineness, 1872-1935     2: .900 fineness, 1872-1935     3: .800 fineness, 1872-1935     4: town and maker's code, 1935-1944     5: town and maker's code, 1945-1970     6: town and maker's code, 1971-present

ITALIAN HALLMARKS FROM 1872 PAGE



LATVIA
Russian hallmarks were used from 1840 to 1918 and from 1946 to 1990
From 1925/1927 to 1939 was used a slightly rounded corners rectangular mark containing a head with the Latvian crown and the silver fineness.
A similar mark was reinstated after independence from Soviet Union.
Latvia: Russian/Latvian mark - unidentified PJS St. Petersburg silversmith 1 Latvia: Bernhard Bergholtz (Riga) 2 Latvia: Oskar Vük (Riga) 3 Latvia: unidentified maker 4 Latvia: unidentified maker 5 Latvia: unidentified maker 6
1: Russian/Latvian mark - unidentified PJS St. Petersburg silversmith     2: Bernhard Bergholtz (Riga)     3: Oskar Vük (Riga)     4: unidentified maker     5: unidentified maker         5: unidentified maker

LATVIA MARKS PAGE

LATVIA PRESENT MARKS PAGE



MEXICO
MEXICAN MAKER'S MARKS PAGE


THE NETHERLANDS
THE NETHERLANDS PRESENT MARKS PAGE


NORWAY
The modern Norwegian system of hallmarking came into effect after the 1891 Act.
It consists of the national symbol of a crowned rampant lion holding a battle axe inside a circular frame, the silver fineness mark and the maker's mark.
In 1892, silver fineness was standardized at .830 and the mark 830S became compulsory. In 1920, standard .925 started to replace .830 purity.
At the present purity 999, 925, 830 and 800 are admitted for silver items, but .925 is the foremost standard in use.
Norway national control mark for silver Norway: .830 purity mark Norway: .830 purity mark Norway: .830 purity mark Norway: .925 purity mark Norway: .925 purity mark

NORWEGIAN HALLMARKS PAGE



PORTUGAL
PORTUGUESE PRESENT MARKS PAGE


RUSSIA
RUSSIAN ANCIENT MARKS PAGE

RUSSIAN ARTELS MARKS PAGE

RUSSIAN KOKOSHNIK MARKS PAGE


SCOTLAND

SCOTTISH PROVINCIAL PAGE


SOUTH AFRICA
CAPE COLONY
Cape Colony: Johannes Martinus Lotter 1 Cape Colony: William Moore 2 Cape Colony: Thomas Stephenson 3 Cape Colony: Martinus Lourens Smith 4 Cape Colony: Frederik Waldek 5
1: Johannes Martinus Lotter     2: William Moore     3: Thomas Stephenson     4: Martinus Lourens Smith     5: Frederik Waldek

CAPE COLONY MARKS PAGES

SOUTH AFRICA: 20TH CENTURY
South Africa: voluntary hallmark 1949 1 South Africa: voluntary hallmark 1949 2 South Africa: voluntary hallmark 1949 3 South Africa: mark of origin from 2013 (ZA= South Africa) 4
1: voluntary hallmark 1949     2: voluntary hallmark 1949     3: voluntary hallmark 1949     4: mark of origin from 2013 (ZA= South Africa)

SOUTH AFRICAN MARKS OF 20TH CENTURY PAGE



SPAIN
In 1934 the Spanish hallmarking system was organized on three types of marks:
- fineness mark, in the form of a "five-point star" for 915/1000 purity (plata de ley) and a "six-point comet" for 750/1000 purity (plata de segunda)
- maker's mark in a hexagonal contour
- assay office code, as a letter code stamped in the fineness mark star (this code was rarely used)
Spain: .915 fineness mark after 1934 Spain: .750 fineness mark after 1934
left: .915 fineness after 1934     right: .750 fineness after 1934

Spain: .915 fineness after 1934 1 Spain:  .915 mark fineness mark after 1934  with Barcelona Assay Office letter (B) 2 Spain: .750 fineness mark after 1934 3
1: .915 fineness mark after 1934     2: .915 fineness mark after 1934 with Barcelona Assay Office letter (B)     3: .750 fineness after 1934

ANCIENT MARKS
Spain: silversmith Antonio Castejon, Cordoba, 1836, assayer Marcial De La Torre 1 Spain: Madrid, 19th century 2 Spain: Palma de Mallorca, 19th century 3 Spain: Madrid, 19th century 4
1: silversmith Antonio Castejon, Cordoba, 1836, assayer Marcial De La Torre     2: Madrid, 19th century     3: Palma de Mallorca, 19th century     4: Madrid, 19th century

SPAIN ANCIENT MARKS PAGE

SPAIN PRESENT MARKS PAGE



SRI LANKA (CEYLON)
The country obtained independence in 1948. Silver manufactured in the mid-20th century is marked with a stylized lion holding a sword.
Sri Lanka, mid-20th century silver mark
Present silver is marked with the Assay Office Mark and the Silver standard mark. The legal standards are .999, .925 and .800.
present Sri Lanka silver marks



SWITZERLAND
1881 - 1995
Until 1881 there was no uniform system of hallmarking in Switzerland. Before that time, hallmarking was undertaken at the local level by the Swiss cantons. With the introduction of the Swiss system of hallmarking in 1881, there was uniformity throughout the nation.
Switzerland: silver hallmarks 1881-1933 1 Switzerland: silver hallmarks 1933-1995 2
1: silver hallmarks 1881-1933     2: silver hallmarks 1933-1995

SWISS MARKS 1881-1995 PAGE

SWITZERLAND PRESENT MARKS PAGE



UNITED KINGDOM

UK MAKER'S MARKS PAGE

UK PRESENT MARKS PAGE




English home page
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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