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British Colonial mark? Crab(?), Star, STERLING and 925/000

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Answer

Genevieve
Messages: 3

British Colonial mark? Crab(?), Star, STERLING and 925/000

created 24 Aug. 2016, 22:49
Quote
I would be most grateful is someone could help me sort out this most baffling set of marks appearing on a Tea/Coffee Service wTray set that was brought into Canada from Barcelona, Spain.

If the first mark is indeed a crab in an ovoid punch (the ″Guarantee″ mark of 19thC southeast France, and the star in an ovoid punch is perhaps the ″Mint Mark″ of post-1934 Spain, how do these correlate with the English ″STERLING″ and ″925/000″ notations? (Oh, and why is there no ″1″ in the purity assurance mark?)

Your help would be most appreciated!

British Colonial mark? Crab(?), Star, STERLING and 925/000
British Colonial mark? Crab(?), Star, STERLING and 925/000
Genevieve
Messages: 3

RE: British Colonial mark? Crab(?), Star, STERLING and 925/000

created 24 Aug. 2016, 22:55
Quote
I would be most grateful is someone could help me sort out this most baffling set of marks appearing on a Tea/Coffee Service wTray set that was brought into Canada from Barcelona, Spain.

If the first mark is indeed a crab in an ovoid punch (the ″Guarantee″ mark of 19thC southeast France), and the star in an ovoid punch is perhaps the ″Mint Mark″ of post-1934 Spain, how do these correlate with the English ″STERLING″ and ″925/000″ notations? (Oh, and why is there no ″1″ in the purity assurance mark?)

Your help would be most appreciated!




Edited 25 Aug. 2016, 19:10
SteveDWollongong2
Messages: 89

RE: British Colonial mark? Crab(?), Star, STERLING and 925/000

created 25 Aug. 2016, 06:45
Quote
Hi Genevieve,

I think you are overcomplicating things a little. Your identification of the star is spot on and it was made in Spain after 1934. The crab mark however is totally incorrect for France and so rather than going off looking at any marks that might fit, we need to look at the one we know...ie Spain.

So what could the others mean. Well when the star mark was introduced in 1934 it was the official Spanish guarantee that the piece was tested and found to be made from a minimum fineness of 915/1000 of silver. Along side this was the standardisation of makers marks of an animal/insect inside a hexagon. This was later changed to be a maker identification number above a town identifying letter also inside a hexagon.

Close examination of your crab mark can see that although not well struck, the outline is a hexagon, therefore this is the makers mark. I′m afraid I don′t know of a register of these marks and so am unable to offer any details of the maker. I suspect the name? that looks like SAM may well be another form of maker ID as there was nothing to stop makers putting additional information on their work.

The additional marks of ′sterling′ and 925/000(I have seen it expressed this way rather than 925/1000 before, but it isn′t common) have been added to show the higher than standard Spanish 915 grade of silver. This is done to allow the items to be exported and sold in countries such as the U.S where Sterling is the minimum standard.

Cheers,
Steve

Edited 25 Aug. 2016, 10:41
Genevieve
Messages: 3

RE: British Colonial mark? Crab(?), Star, STERLING and 925/000

created 25 Aug. 2016, 14:49
Quote
Thank you, Steve, for your timely response and helpful answer!

As for the name appearing in each set of marks, it reads ″Sonn″ - a Dutch or German moniker that was another puzzling aspect for me when trying to decipher these marks. I have researched internationally in my attempts to find this ′name′ amongst known silversmiths, but so far have come up empty. Any further thoughts you might have on this Germanic association with items of Spanish origin would be most welcome.

Thanks again!
Genevieve

Edited 25 Aug. 2016, 14:55

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