Marks on precious metals have been regulated by law since ancient times. From pharaohs, Roman emperors and continuing today, fineness, or standard marks, have been used to guarantee minimum amounts of precious metal in relation to non-precious metal. At least that’s the theory. But while most governments strictly monitor standard marks, very few regulate marks not related to the content of precious metals. It is perfectly legal, for example, to stamp silver with trademarks or brand names of companies no longer in business or whose trademark is no longer registered. A new piece marked Unger Bros. This presents obvious problems for those interested in antique and collectible silver and silver plate. Almost all the pieces we’ll be discussing are made for the antique reproduction trade. The article will not include elaborate forgeries of museum quality silver made before or silver of other standards.
The Identification of Sheffield Plate
Sheffield plate is a layered combination of silver and copper that was used for many years to produce a wide range of household articles. Almost every article made in sterling silver was also crafted by Sheffield makers, who used this manufacturing process to produce nearly identical wares at far less cost. The process and material are sometimes compared to the Japanese mokume-gane. The material was accidentally invented by Thomas Boulsover , of Sheffield’s Cutlers Company , in While trying to repair the handle of a customer’s decorative knife, he heated it too much and the silver started to melt.
How to identify and read the marks on English electroplated silver. sterling silver hallmarking, Sterling silver hallmark, Sheffield Assay Office, date , maker.
Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to continue reading. Please log in, or sign up for a new account to continue reading. For centuries, the town of Sheffield, England, has been synonymous with the art of silver making. Dating back to the 14th century, many craftsmen worked in silver in and around Sheffield. In the mids, silver was fused to copper and called Sheffield plate.
An invention of Thomas Boulsover , Sheffield plate was born by accident. While Boulsover was busy repairing a silver pot, he discovered a process for plating metals together. In , he accidentally fused copper and silver together, which resulted in a very strong metal. The attributes of Sheffield plate include good looks and durability. Sheffield plate is comparatively quite inexpensive when compared to sterling silver.
The stamped marks found on Sheffield plate resemble sterling silver hallmarks showing town marks, makers’ marks and date stamps. In , a law was passed banning the use of hallmarks on pieces made from plate. By the 19th century, Sheffield plate pieces also were produced in Birmingham, England, and other parts of Europe. The process of making Sheffield plate is pretty simple: A sheet of silver is fused on top of a thicker sheet made of copper.
Pair Of Georgian Old Sheffield Plate Candelabra, Circa 1800
Since then, there have been ten Assay Offices in the UK. There are four Assay Offices operating in the UK today. Assay Office Birmingham was established by Act of Parliament and was opened in Earlier practice could vary. From it is on its side for all metals. The organisation takes pride in its high level of service and the use of the latest technology by all its commercial divisions, from Hallmarking, Diamond and Gemstone Certification, Jewellery, Watch and Silverware Valuations through to precious and non precious metal testing, product safety and quality assurance testing as well as educational training and consultancy.
Sheffield Date Letters. Click on the letter you want to date or on a date letter cycle (column) in the table below to see a larger view (scroll down for earlier dates).
For centuries, the town of Sheffield, England, has been synonymous with art of silver making. Dating back to the 14th century, many craftsmen worked in silver in and around Sheffield. In the mid s, silver was fused to copper and called Sheffield plate. An invention of Thomas Boulsover , Sheffield plate was born by accident. While Boulsover was busy repairing a silver pot, he discovered a process for plating metals together. In , he accidentally fused copper and silver together, which resulted in a very strong metal.
The attributes of Sheffield plate include good looks and durability. Sheffield plate is comparatively quite inexpensive when compared to sterling silver. In , a law was passed banning the use of hallmarks on pieces made from plate. By the 19th century, Sheffield plate pieces also were produced in Birmingham and other parts of Europe. The process of making Sheffield plate is pretty simple: a sheet of silver is fused on top of a thicker sheet made of copper.
The compound is then rolled and both metals expanded equally together to become a thin sheet of copper hosting a thin layer of silver.
Dating walker and hall silver plate
Sheffield plate , in metalwork , articles made of copper coated with silver by fusion. Sheffield plate was produced as follows. An ingot of copper, slightly alloyed with zinc and lead, was covered on both top and bottom with a sheet of silver and fired. When the silver began to melt, the ingot was removed from the furnace, cooled, and rolled. The edges of pieces made were rolled over to hide the copper that was visible when the sheet was cut.
The armorial bearings as engraved upon this Pair of George IV Old Sheffield Plate Wine Coolers. by Matthew Boulton, of Birmingham dating to the first quarter of.
These items are not for sale and the descriptions, images and prices are for reference purposes only. You can reduce the number of items displayed by entering a keyword that must be included in the description of the item. Old Sheffield Plate teapot embossed quad-footed base, marked with an impressed crown to base, height 15 cm. Show 3 more like this. Antique Old Sheffield Plate serving tray with pierced metal strainer to interior, dual handles, quad-footed, length 35 cm.
A George III Sheffield plate small salver, engraved with a sheep to the centre surrounded by a floral band, beaded rim, on three shell feet.
EPC stands for electroplated copper. Though the term EPC refers to electroplating, the technique used to create Sheffield pieces was mainly mechanical and chemical. Early Sheffield plate is notoriously difficult to date because there was no legal requirement to hallmark an item until , according to Bryan Douglas Silver. Flip your silver item over and look around the surface for a hallmark.
Sep 20, – A large beautiful pair of antique silver plate on copper “Old Sheffield Plate” type candlesticks dating from around This very decorative pair.
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Flip your silver item over and look around the surface for a hallmark. If you discover the stamped initials “EPBM” or “EPNS,” then it is not copper Sheffield plate.
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Sheffield Silver Overview
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This beautiful pair of Old Sheffield Plated coasters, dating to c, are of a particularly elegant design. A Very Fine Pair of Wine Bottle.
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Old Sheffield Plate
The vast majority of English, Scottish and Irish silver produced in the last years is stamped with either 4 or 5 symbols, known as hallmarks. The prime purpose of these marks is to show that the metal of the item upon which they are stamped is of a certain level of purity. The metal is tested and marked at special offices, regulated by the government, known as assay offices.
Date: ca. Culture: British. Medium: Sheffield plate. Dimensions: Height: 5 15/16 in. ( cm). Classification: Metalwork-Silver. Credit Line: Rogers Fund.
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