FIGURAL TRADE MARKS
ON BRITISH SILVER PLATE
The trademark or trade mark is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business
organization, or other legal entity to signify that the products or
services, to consumers with which the trademark appears, originate from a unique source, and to
distinguish its products or services from those of other entities.
In most cases the manufacturers of British electroplated silver used marks formed with the initials of
their names. Often the initials were accompanied by the initial of the town where the maker was active: "S"
for Sheffield, "L" for London, "G" for Glasgow. In no case (or rarely) the "B" for Birmingham was used.
A "crown" was often added by the makers operating in the town of Sheffield (but sometimes the "crown" was used also by
manufacturers operating in Birmingham) . In c. 1895 this
practice was forbidden as the "crown" was the official hallmark used by the Sheffield Assay Office in hallmarking
sterling silver objects.
Sometimes a "figural mark" flanked or replaced the mark expressed by letters.
In this page I present a selection of these marks as found on British silver plate hollowware and flatware of the
19th and 20th century.
Click on the marks to obtain a wider image and on the maker's name to read further details about the maker (location,
activity, dates, etc.)
This is a page of 'The What is? Silver Dictionary' of A Small Collection of
Antique Silver and Objects of vertu,
a 1000 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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