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

SILVER HALLMARKS WORLDWIDE OVERVIEW worldwide hallmarks overview

ARGENTINA - AUSTRALIA - AUSTRIA - BELGIUM - BRAZIL

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.



COUNTRY:    A-B      C-F      G-L      M-R      S-Z

ARGENTINA
Unofficial standard marks started to be used in the late 19th century.
From c.1875 to 1959 the marks consisted of the name or the symbol of the maker and the silver fineness (.800, .900 or .925).

Argentina, pre 1959, 800/1000 silver fineness Argentina, pre 1959, 800/1000 silver fineness Argentina, pre 1959, 800/1000 silver fineness Argentina, pre 1959, 800/1000 silver fineness Argentina, pre 1959, 800/1000 silver fineness
Argentina, pre 1959, 900/1000 silver fineness
Argentina, pre 1959, 925/1000 silver fineness Argentina, pre 1959, 925/1000 silver fineness Argentina, pre 1959, 925/1000 silver fineness

From 1959 a lozenge shaped mark is used for silver fineness.

Argentina, after 1959, 800/1000 silver fineness

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

AUSTRIA-HUNGARY HALLMARKS PAGE

REPUBLIC OF AUSTRIA MARKS 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
In the 19th century there was no official silver control in Brazil and silversmiths emulated hallmarks from Portugal, France and the UK to better sell their products. In fact the quality of the work was good but the public, apparently, preferred foreign hallmarks, even fake ones.
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 Brazil: Rio de Janeiro, Francisco Duarte Graça, circa 1854 4 Brazil: Rio de Janeiro, Francisco Duarte Graça, circa 1854 Brazil: Rio de Janeiro, Francisco Duarte Graça, circa 1854 5
1: Rio de Janeiro, maker Bennassi Bernard, c.1810     2: José Ferreira Guimaraes, c. 1850     3: Rio de Janeiro, unidentified maker    4: Rio de Janeiro, Francisco Duarte Graça, circa 1854    5: Rio de Janeiro, Francisco Duarte Graça, circa 1854 and pseudo Lisbon hallmark

BRAZIL MARKS PAGE



CANADA
JEE over T in a pentagon and pseudo English hallmarks mark, James E.Ellis, Toronto, Ontario, c. 1850/1880

CANADIAN MAKER'S MARKS PAGE



CHANNEL ISLANDS
J.LG into three conjoine circlesmark, John Le Gallais

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



FINLAND
Finland was part of the Kingdom of Sweden until 1809 when it was ceded to Russia becoming an autonomous province.
Hallmarking in Finland was compulsory since 1754 and a date mark system introduced in 1759.
In 1810 the Swedish hallmarking system was abandoned and a new sequence of date letters introduced.

Since 1810 the national mark is one crown in a hearth shaped contour.
Finland national control mark for silver Finland: full set of silver marks

FINNISH HALLMARKS 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
Robbe & Berking - Flensburg
GERMANY MARKS FROM 1888 PAGE

hallmark town of Furth 1770 hallmark town of Hanau 1770 hallmark town of Darmstadt 18th century hallmark town of Augsburg 1690-1695 hallmark town of Liegnitz 1830 hallmark town of Nurnberg 1710 hallmark town of Frankfurt/main 2nd half 18th century hallmark town of Dresden half 19th century
GERMANY ANCIENT MARKS

a mix of maker's marks in Hanau silver: a GB maker and Karl Kurz
GERMANY HANAU MARKS

German  marks: silver fineness 800/1000
GERMANY PRESENT MARKS PAGE


HUNGARY
The Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867 elevated Hungary's status by the creation of a joint monarchy with the Austrian Empire, ruled in personal union as Austria-Hungary by the Austrian emperors during 1867-1918. After the First World War and the dissolution of the Habsburg Monarchy, Hungary became a Republic continuing to use Austro-Hungarian silver hallmarks until 1937. Afterwards, five silver hallmarks change have been occurred, 1937, 1966, 1999, 2006 and the last in 2016.
Austria-Hungary silver hallmarks: large works 1866-1937, town of Pest 1 Hungary silver hallmarks: large works 1937 - 1966 2 Hungary silver hallmarks: large works 1966 - 1999 3
1: 1866 - 1937     2: 1937 - 1966     3: 1966 - 1999    

HUNGARY MARKS PAGE


IRAN (PERSIA)
First silver marks showing the maker's name and his city came into use in late 19th century.
Imitation of 84 Russian marks appeared c. 1890, possibly introduced by Armenian goldsmiths emigrated to Tabriz.
National marks with the "Armed Lion" in various shapes (fineness .840 and .900) were introduced in 1967.
The last shah was deposed in 1979 and Republican marks were intended to be introduced.

Iran, imitation of .84 Russian mark Iran, Parsi 84 mark Iran, imitation of .84 Russian mark joined to 84 Parsi mark
84 imitation of Russian mark (meaning .840 rather than .875) and Parsi 84
Iran, Armed Lion mark, 1967-1979 Iran, Armed Lion mark, 1967-1979
"Armed Lion" mark 1967-1979
Iran, silver mark Iran, silver mark Iran, silver mark Iran, silver mark Iran, silver mark



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



MALTA
The first silver hallmarking regulation was introduced by the military order of Knights Hospitaller in 1636. After the short period of French occupation (1798-1800) the island became de facto a British colony. Malta obtained Self Government in 1920, independence in 1964 and became a republic in 1974.

Malta silver hallmarks 1801 - 1809 Malta silver hallmarks 1801 - 1809 Malta silver hallmarks 1964 - 1974 Malta silver hallmarks 1964 - 1974

MALTA MARKS PAGE


MEXICO
Plateria FarFan: eagle 13

MEXICAN MAKER'S MARKS PAGE



THE NETHERLANDS
The Netherlands: 835/1000 present mark

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



PERU
Peru is the second country with the largest silver reserves and the third world producer of silver. The country obtained independence from Spain in 1824.
In the 20th century Peruvian silver began to be marked with 925 and .925 fineness was adopted as "Plata de Ley".
The marks of modern silverware and jewelry take various forms and in most cases PLATA and PERU origin are quoted next to 925: PERU PLATA 925, PERU PLATA ESTERLINA 925, PLATA STERLING 925

Peruvian silver .925 mark Peruvian silver .925 mark Peruvian silver .925 mark Peruvian silver .925 mark Peruvian silver .925 mark Peruvian silver .925 mark Peruvian silver .925 mark


POLAND
The independent existence of Polish territories ended in late 18th century after a series of invasions and partitions carried out by the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Prussia, and the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy. Austro-Hungarian hallmarks were used in Krakow and other towns. A Russian Assay Office was established in Warsaw. After WWI Poland obtained independence in 1920 was introduced the new national hallmarking system.

Polish silver hallmarks: 1920-1931 Poland: mark for used items and .875 fineness 1920-1931 hallmark on a Russian marked object Poland: mark for  .800 fineness 1920-1931

POLISH MARKS PAGE



PORTUGAL
Portugal: 925/1000 Portugal: 835/1000 Portugal: 830/1000 Portugal: 800/1000

PORTUGUESE PRESENT MARKS PAGE



ROMANIA
Modern hallmarking of precious metals was introduced in 1906 by the Kingdom of Romania.
Romania silver hallmarks: 1906-1926 Romania silver hallmarks: 1906-1926

ROMANIA MARKS PAGE



RUSSIA
hallmark Moscow silversmith Ivan Semenovich Gubkin assayer Viktor Savinkov
RUSSIAN ANCIENT MARKS PAGE

6th Artel Moscow
RUSSIAN ARTELS MARKS PAGE

oval Kokoshnik mark Moscow 1908-1926
RUSSIAN KOKOSHNIK MARKS PAGE


SCOTLAND
George & Alexander Booth  mark, c. 1825-1850 (courtesy Robert Massart)

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 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



SWEDEN
The present form of National Control Mark started in 1901 consisting of the three crowns of the Swedish coat of arms in a trefoil shape, the hexagonal frame with"S" indicating the minimum silver standard of .800, the town, the date code and the maker's mark.
Switzerland: silver hallmarks 1881-1933

SWEDISH MARKS PAGE AND DIRECTORY OF MAKERS



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

London town mark    Sheffield town mark    Birmingham town mark    Newcastle town mark    Dublin town mark    Edinburgh town mark    Glasgow town mark
UK HALLMARKING SYSTEM PAGE

Birmingham Assay Office mark Edinburgh Assay Office mark London Assay Office mark Sheffield Assay Office mark
UK PRESENT MARKS PAGE

HOW TO READ ENGLISH SILVER MARKS


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The identification and dating of American silver presents problems because, unlike England and other countries, no official stamps or date letters were used. Nor was there ever established a guild hall for keeping records. Therefore, it is only through the identification of maker's marks and trademarks that the names of silversmiths and manufacturers can be traced.
USA: Tiffany & Co mark USA: Gorham Mfg Co mark USA: International Silver Co mark USA: Whiting Mfg Co mark

AMERICAN MAKER'S MARKS PAGES



COUNTRY:    A-B      C-F      G-L      M-R      S-Z




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