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Hallmarking has been a legal requirement in Britain for over 700 years. Silver has always been a popular choice of material for producing decorative objects and the marks help identify the type and proportion of precious metal used in manufactured items, including jewellery, antique silver and objects, bringing with them a reassurance to the buyer that their purchase is of the highest “standard” and quality.
Silver hallmarks also reveal the maker of an object and the date it was made, as well as the Assay Office where it was classified. As with any collection area, certain makers are highly desirable and command huge sums at auction.
Silver plating was introduced in the 18th and 19th centuries, aided by advances in technology, and as such items of silver plate are considered more affordable, but still, with the right maker's mark, can command huge sums.
Sworders consigns and sells silver from all periods in specialist sales throughout the year. Antique silver is typically consigned to quarterly Fine Interiors auctions, with modern and contemporary pieces entered for sale in Design auctions, held three times a year. The more modestly priced items will feature in fortnightly Homes and Interiors sales.
To find out more about our forthcoming sales, or to talk further about potential consignments, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our specialist team.
A rare work by the extraordinary Sarah Biffin (1784-1850), an early 19th century artist born without limbs, will go under the hammer in our Fine Interiors auction this December.
26 October 2021
Next week's auction of Design offers two archetypal side chairs from a truly unique Italian designer - Carlo Bugatti - whose life was filled with talent and tragedy.
14 October 2021
An autograph book with a story so evocative of the British music scene in the early 1960s comes for sale in our Design auction this month. The notebook includes the signatures of three of The Beatles, together with those of Gerry & The Pacemakers, The Dave Clark Five, Cliff Richard, and Helen Shapiro.
5 October 2021