Dating gorham silver plate marks
Only metal of the required standard will be marked.
It is a form of consumer protection, whose origin goes back almost 1000 years.
In that year and the following year, the head faced left and was debossed rather than embossed.
This mark has become known as the Incuse Duty Mark.
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.
When Victoria came to the throne in 1837, the mark was replaced with the Queen's head duty mark which always faces left. Go to the appropriate section in Bradburys for the given town.
There are so many different hallmarks found on British silver that to know all of them would be impossible.
Fortunately, with the use of a single reference book, it is possible for even a complete novice to decipher the vast majority.
So, although, only 20 letters are used, it is possible to know exactly which year that particular combination of font, and shield is referring to.
It is also important to note that each town has a different series of letters, starting on a different year.