With the help of the hallmarks it is normally fairly straightforward to identify the "where and when" of British and Irish silver. There are many books and tables of town marks and date letters to help the collector and this site now includes a section on hallmark identification. Identifying the silversmith is a little more difficult. This web site is my attempt to provide a resource to aid this process. All graphics are taken from real hallmarks. The quality of the original pictures varies greatly and I have been obliged to use some pictures which are not as good as I would like. However, I am constantly trying to improve the quality of the examples and also to expand the number of makers represented.
I have tried to concentrate on the major Assay Offices so if you are looking for information on, say, Scottish provincial silversmiths, this site will not help you.
The makers' marks are listed by Assay Office. To get started click on the link for the Assay Office you want and follow the alphabetical links. Each mark is indexed by its first 2 letters. If it is not clear which are the first 2 letters (for example for 4 letters arranged in a cross shape), try whatever looks most likely - I have tried to cover all possibilities by linking to the main entry.
Try my new hallmark identification pages and let me know what you think.
Some notes on the tables:
1. The dates in the "Dates seen" column are the earliest and latest dates for which I have seen the accompanying mark - they do not necessarily represent the full time span during which the silversmith was working.
2. A "registered" date in the "Dates seen" column gives the date when the mark was registered at the Assay Office and may not necessarily coincide with the date it was first used. It does, however, give an indication of the period when the mark might first be expected to be seen.
3. The "Maker" column may show the name of the silversmith who made the item; however, the mark is more properly known as a Sponsor's Mark. This may be that of a retailer, importer or representative of the company which actually made the item.
Missing images? If your browser is showing the missing image graphic: (e.g. in MS Internet Explorer), this is probably because it is using a cached version of the page source. Forced refresh of the page by using, for example, Ctrl-F5 should show the images. If you still have problems I may have made an error, so please report it using the "Contact" link below.
Caveat: Despite every effort at accuracy, there is no guarantee that the attributions within these pages are correct. Use the information contained herein with care.
If you would like to suggest amendments to attributions or to expand some of the initials into names click on the "Contact" link below. I will also be pleased to receive pictures for incorporation into the site. In this case please include in your message a link to the image and ensure that the picture includes the full hallmark with assay office and date letter marks.
My thanks to everybody who has provided feedback. I am pleased to know that the site is proving useful.
EBay Sellers: I am happy that you use images from this site to illustrate your auctions. However you should make it very clear that these images are not taken from the item being sold. Please do not copy information from the data tables without putting it in context; e.g. by explaining the significance of dates. In addition an acknowledgement of this site as the source would be appreciated. If you find items not in my lists or dates outside my "Seen On" ranges, please let me know.