Dating wallace silver marks
So, in 1720 it was agreed that the old standard would be restored, and run alongside the higher standard. in 1720, a charge of 6 pennies an ounce was made, as a duty for restoring back to the old standard.This started a practice called duty-dodging, whereby silversmiths avoided paying duty by incorporating pieces of silver bearing antique sliver marks into a new piece of silverware.Instead a newer, higher standard of 95.8% pure, was introduced.New Assay Silver Hallmarks were ordered, utilising the initials of each silversmith, together with a figure of a woman known as Britannia and a lion’s head, replacing the lion (Passant) ie. Changing to the higher standard of 95.8% silver caused some controversy.Antique Silver markings were first used in England in the 14th century and the story goes that around 1408 a silversmith called Philip Stubbs complained of the widespread use, by unscrupulous silversmiths, of drossie rubbage or refuse metal.This was alloyed with silver to make the metal tougher and more malleable, but obviously decreased the amount of pure silver in a piece and was cheaper than the actual silver.What might have started out as a George III silver tankard could end up as a nice silver Coffee Pot once a spout and handle have been added.
This continued without a break until 1696, when, a new cycle was started called the Britannia standard of antique silver markings.
But, so widespread was the abuse of clipping or melting silver coins, that silversmiths were forbidden to use the sterling standard for their wares.
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