Collecting Antique Silver
Lets start at basics , silver marks consist of sterling silver mark lion on passant , or for those of us not fluid in French a walking lion ,of course exception such as Edinburgh & Glasgow a rampant lion ie a lion stood upright and boxing. I digress also an assay office and a date letter . Great British silver comes in 2 grades 925 or 950 for Britannia silver.
So , all hallmarks have 3 icon or figures an anchor for Birmingham with lion for sterling silver and a date letter small "a" for 1900 and often a maker's name like Mappin & Webb .
When buying silver you can easily check online or with a handy pocket book " Dealers guide to English silver marks " also containing some of the better-known makers. Makers of course are important but firstly items need to be in good order and good quality and have good design and style. Please note the overriding word "Good".
A decent dealer will give you a all-round description and guarantee of date , there is a sad tendency for certain people to dwell on the metal price, seems to us that's all the t.v talk about, silver items obviously have an intrinsic value and scrap prices whilst have a relevance most good items and the more interesting items have little weight but a high value , such as mote spoons or bone marrow spoons or vinaigrettes .
So in summary spend a little time reading definitely worth it, look for condition, decent hallmarks and a decent dealer to help you .
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