I have been employed with AC Silver almost six years and in that time I have seen a lot when it comes to antique silverware. Daily new pieces are brought into our inventory and it is still my privilege to observe the hallmarks and determine all the history of each and every piece. I have in the past had my questions about my learning experience and rubbed hallmarks have caused major confusion into the origin of a piece, however I have always managed to battle through and usually find the joy in the next piece I observe.
Along the way I have kept a little note of maker’s marks I am either impressed with or find a little amusing; it may just be my humour so I apologise now.
William Wrangham Williams
A man ahead of his time. What most likely was quite a mouthful in the 20th century is now a rather appropriate maker’s mark for the digital world we live in today.
Thomas Merry I
If you had the job I had, you too would think about what your personal hallmark would be. Personally it would have to be a combination of the initials ROKC, but for now I feel I will adopt Thomas’ approach and humbly declare it was made by “me”.
On a more serious note this is a maker’s mark I find very clever. Often the detail of a hallmark is lost in the execution but we are lucky to have a clear representation of this 18th century silversmith’s mark; I find it fitting that the initials “Lo” are surmounted with a key. The strawberry dish the marks are featured upon is an exceptional example with a rather traditionally plain appearance, but if you consider the hallmarks I find a whole story much more fascinating.
When I first laid eyes on this piece I examined the interior circumference for the hallmarks, which is not an unusual place for a napkin ring. I was overjoyed to find they were on the exterior surface and struck before the enamel was applied. By nature of the piece the hallmarks are perfectly preserved beneath this translucent coloured layer and the piece will retain its history for all to see.
There are hundreds, maybe even thousands of English maker’s marks out there, with the addition of all the worldly marks, there must be many more which are amusing or interesting. Are you like me and have a soft spot for silverware or do you have a favourite maker’s mark with a twist? Let me know in the comments below.
Rachel O'Keefe-Coulson – Multimedia Executive
Rachel O'Keefe is our 'silver lady' spending her days handling silverware and processing these items for the AC Silver website. Amazingly, Rachel’s favourite items of silverware are spoons, for which she has developed a true affinity.