Fortunately, with the use of a single reference book, it is possible for even a complete novice to decipher the vast majority.Although there are many books on the market which can be used to help read hallmarks, the standard book of reference, used by dealers and collectors world wide is Bradbury's Book of Hallmarks.The objective of this page is to help the visitors of the site in deciphering the marks of their British silverplate.It should be said that the correct definition for punches present on silverplate is MARK, while the term HALLMARK is reserved to sterling silver items submitted to the "Hall" for verification of their fineness. S) (4) WHEN: the approximate date is early 1900, deduced by the combined presence of the mark ENGLAND (in use from early 1890s) and the Patent Office number 351065 (registered in 1899) (5) WHY: the inscription reads that the cup was presented to "Dr.Note that dublin is unique in using the same mark for the town mark and the standard mark. However, the crowned harp is often seen with another mark called the Hibernia which is similar to the Brittania Silver Mark of a seated lady.
If you can find one of these marks, then you know that the item is British silver and you can move onto stage 2.
Bradbury's book of hallmarks was last updated in 2014 by the Sheffield Assay office.
It can be purchased directly from there or from any major book seller.
Again, you don’t need to memorise these marks, just flick through Bradburys to find them.
The duty mark was only struck in certain years and when found, will take the form of either a King or Queen’s head, depending on who was on the throne at the time. To the collector, the main importance of this mark is that it helps you find the date letter.