Why Hallmarked English Antique Silver Is So Good

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Did you know that dating of silver in England started in 1544 when the Lion Passant was struck on English silverware. The lion being the mark for sterling silver. Sterling is a derivative of the word “easterling” or “esterling” a name once applied by continental silversmiths to their English counterparts.

The standard of sterling silver is 925 parts of silver in 1000 (or 11oz. 2dwt. To the lb. Troy).  Britannia Silver is of a higher standard having 958.4 parts of silver in 1000. It was introduced in 1697 to prevent the silver coinage, which was sterling quality, being melted down and wrought into silver.
 
Continental silver is of a lower standard than sterling silver.
 
Hallmarks are the marks of certification struck on a silver article after official testing for standard. Silver Hallmarks consists of three marks.  The standard mark, the Assay Office mark and the date letter. Sometimes there is also the maker’s mark.  In the case when items of silver have been cleaned so much that the hallmarks are “rubbed” it is a help to have maker’s initials as this can often help the process of “where to start” in identifying the age of a piece.
 
If the marks are so “rubbed” as to preclude identification this obviously detracts from the value of an item of silver as it is judged on its age perhaps more than other “antiques”.
 
We love Antique Silver and we have lots of it!  Because of the silver marks people buy antique silver with confidence either via the website or when they visit our antique shop in Petworth, West Sussex, UK. We have six cabinets of antique silver containing just about anything you would need and the stock constantly changes.

Our antique silver photograph frames are especially popular and we always offer a wide range of these silver picture frames, such as a rectangular antique silver photo frame with domed top and decorative acanthus leaf decoration to outside edge. This was made in Chester dated 1913 and is classed as an antique silver frame. 
Our stock of antique silver also includee antique christening mugs (cans), antique scent bottles, antique trinket boxes, antique silver candlesticks, decanter labels, chains and bracelets, napkin rings, snuff boxes, condiment sets, paperknives and flatware. This list does not include everything but gives a good idea of the range of antique silver we stock.