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Silver Hallmarks, 1831
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Silver hallmarks from 1831 on the handle of a piece of silver cutlery. A hallmark is an official mark made on an item of precious metal to guarantee the quality of the metal. In the past this was done by guilds, and later by assay offices. Hallmarks usually indicate the quality, who made the item, and the year of marking. The five marks here (from bottom) are the duty mark for King George IV (who died in 1830); the date letter (q) for the year 1831; the lion passant (walking lion) mark for sterling silver (.925 quality); the town of origin mark (a leopard's head) for London; and the maker's mark (FH) for Francis Higgins. Duty marks were sometimes still used for several years after a monarch had died.
May 1st, 2013
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