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The British  hall-marks system
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British provincial hall-marks
British Colonial hall-marks
Marks from Hamilton & Co.. 
Silversmiths and maker marks

A relevant number o silverware was produced in the British Colonies where the hall-marks acts were not in force. In these Countries pseudo hallmarks (marks of fantasy similar to those adopted by the British Assay Offices) have been some time used.

Colonial silver represents an interesting collector sector, but it can be expensive due to the lack of marked silverware produced in the British Colonies. Furthermore genuine hall-mark has not been yet completely recognised and documented in dedicated books and publications.

Hallmarks can be mainly found on silverware produced in those Countries where British silversmiths emigrated to. The principal Colonies are: India (mainly marks from Hamilton & Co. who often use an elephant probably as town mark, Pillar & Co. and Twentyman & Co., all based in Calcutta, with documented marks since 1810), South Africa, Australia, New Zeeland, Canada, Jamaica (marks documented since 1800), Barbados e China (where between 1870 end 1920) pseudo hallmarks very similar to the original British ones were used.

The most famous silversmith operating in India was Robert Hamilton (click on the link to see history and marks).

Some of most prolific makers in Calcutta:

Before 1820: William Henry Twentyman (WHT), John Hunt, Joseph Rondo, Hippolitus Poignand, John Mair I

Calcutta. Up: mark of  W.H.Twentyman circa 1820 and Twentyman Beck & Co, circa  1821. Middle: marks of Twentyman & Co., circa 1824-1829 and 18291836 respectively. Down: John Mair I, circa 1798-1801.

Before 1860: Pittar & Co. (P&Co); Charles, Nephew & Co. (CN&Co); Arthur Pittar, Lattey & Co. (APL&Co)






Mark of Lattey Brothers & Co,  Calcutta (India), circa 1850-1856 (see the ite description)

Pittar & Co, Calcutta,  circa 1825-1828

B.G. (?) Mark found on a set of forks, some of them marked Pittar, circa 1825-1828

Some of the most prolific makers in Madras around 1800: Hugh Gordon, Robert Gordon, George Gordon, George Gordon & Co. (GG&Co)

Madras, From 1848: P. Orr & Sons (still operating in Madras: often only the mark ORR was struck).

Marck of  Peter Nicholas Orr, Madras 1854 - present

Other British colonial marks

Mark from  Lawrence Twentyman (ca 1800), Cape town (South Africa).

Jamaica, 1790