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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 fairly unassuming playbill bought in an Epping charity shop for £5 sold for £4,750 in our auction of Fine Interiors on Wednesday 30 June after it was discovered to be a rare theatrical advertisement printed on the H.M.S Resolute during its Arctic expedition in the 1850s.
Coming up in our auction of Design on the 13 & 14 July, we offer an energetic linocut from an exceptional Swiss artist associated with The Grosvenor School of Modern Art
Our Design sale on 13 &14 July includes a cache of prints taken by music photographer Ed Finnell at legendary gigs held in Los Angeles in the 1970s - the very first time his work is available to buy at auction in the UK - including original photographs of Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Robert Plant and Elton John all performing in their pomp.