Help with silver marks please

Discussion in 'Silver' started by MrNate, Jun 27, 2022.

  1. MrNate

    MrNate Well-Known Member

    Hi everyone,

    I'm hopeful on this piece, but so far I haven't managed to identify the marks. Any help would be appreciated. I took multiple photos of marks since they are admittedly a bit hard to see.

    IMG_6268.jpg IMG_6257.jpg IMG_6259.jpg IMG_6260.jpg IMG_6261.jpg IMG_6262.jpg IMG_6263.jpg IMG_6264.jpg IMG_6267.jpg IMG_6270.jpg
    Figtree3 and johnnycb09 like this.
  2. Bakersgma

    Bakersgma Well-Known Member

    On the left in the final picture you've got potential for either a Greek letter (not very likely) or a piece of plumbing that sometimes appears in German marks.
    Figtree3 likes this.
  3. Bakersgma

    Bakersgma Well-Known Member

    Figtree3 likes this.
  4. evelyb30

    evelyb30 Well-Known Member

    Not a clue. OTOH, those mystery marks usually mean the sale price is mysteriously low too. Gotta like when that happens.
  5. DragonflyWink

    DragonflyWink Well-Known Member

    Hi Nate - nice piece, looks sturdy. Have very little time, but did poke around a bit, pretty well impaired by not being able to fully make out the marks. Believe the maker's mark has a 'D'(?) and 'R' flanking what does appear to resemble, as Bakersgma suggests, a book-press like Wilkens used. Would guess the other is a town mark, maybe early-mid 19th century German, Baltic, etc. - kind of think I see a hammer or axe on the left of the shield, and my brain keeps saying, "Oh look, a seahorse!", on the right, but have doubts there (but I do really like seahorses). Sorry, that's all I've got...

    Last edited: Jun 28, 2022
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  6. MrNate

    MrNate Well-Known Member

    Thank you Cheryl,

    I was hoping you would see my post, as your depth of knowledge on these topics far surpasses any online resources I’ve tried…

    I’ve been highly focused on the mark on the right.. tried a bunch of search combinations of “hammer & hook”, “hammer & dolphin” etc etc with no luck so far. I’ll definitely keep trying but so far no luck.

    I want to figure out if it’s silver first, but I do have an entire tea set. This was an online gamble I made last week. I did the ice cube test (very good results), and no wear marks that would suggest a different base metal. I feel I can rule out brass, copper, pot metals etc. So I’m down to nickel silver and the real stuff. I could do an acid test but I wanted to see if someone could recognize the marks before I went destructive method.
  7. DragonflyWink

    DragonflyWink Well-Known Member

    Wow - how many pieces? Personally, would be surprised if not solid silver, though lower fineness like maybe .750 a good possibility.

    You might consider posting on the 925-1000 forums, there are some very knowledgeable European members - if you do, I'd experiment with getting better images (I know it's just sometimes impossible), but they may be able to ferret them out anyway. Wish I could help more, I'm not focusing well at the moment, but what I can see isn't really ringing any bells either.

    If you can find someone with an XRF spectrometer, they're non-destructive and usually accurate, though occasionally subject to error - nothing's perfect, and even XRF is subject to operator or calibration issues...

    Last edited: Jun 28, 2022
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  8. MrNate

    MrNate Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the advice Cheryl. I’m certainly hopeful my guess was correct and they are actually silver. I see lots of positive indicators based on my experience but obviously definitive proof is preferable.

    Here’s a photo of the entire group. Im going to try to resume my research tonight.

    stracci, Figtree3, Happy! and 2 others like this.
  9. evelyb30

    evelyb30 Well-Known Member

    The spacers are either ivory or bone. The fact that they have spacers is a good indicator. Plated stuff often doesn't.
    bercrystal likes this.
  10. moreotherstuff

    moreotherstuff Izorizent

    I think it's a hammer and crozier. There is a German district, Weilheim-Schongau, with arms that show a crozier and two hammers, but that's very recent. Still, the arms no doubt have an historic background.
  11. MrNate

    MrNate Well-Known Member

    I agree, in no particular order, the positive qualities I see so far:

    -Good tarnish signs (tarnish forming in the cracks)
    -Hazy/foggy tarnish
    -No small air holes on the lids (I’ve noticed this on a lot of silver plate pieces and I’m guessing it’s related to the dipping process)
    -Quality of the pieces/design seems correct
    -Inside of teapots look correct, ie it doesn’t look like plated pieces often do on the inside
    -Overall weight of the pieces seems reasonable for silver
    -No signs of color differentiation on the base that sometimes occurs with base metals or nickel silver
    -The marks themselves were clearly hammered in and an obverse dent is visible (indication of soft metals)
    -Some small imperfections like dents/scrapes consistent with soft metal

    I should have some more time tonight, I’ll try to research more German makers marks. I do find it odd that these pieces appear to be well made, I would expect more pieces from the maker could be found. Whether plated or real silver, they clearly had craftsmanship, so it’s odd that I haven’t managed to find the maker.
    Figtree3 and bercrystal like this.
  12. MrNate

    MrNate Well-Known Member

    Thank you very much for that clue, I had never even heard of a crozier. I appreciate you sharing that :)
  13. moreotherstuff

    moreotherstuff Izorizent

    If it is a crozier, that indicates a bishopric and maybe a cathedral town. The hammer may well indicate mining.
  14. Any Jewelry

    Any Jewelry Well-Known Member

    Abbots also have croziers, and Germany has many abbeys.

    Assuming the set is German, here is a list of present-day German town and regional crests:

    Most crests are historic, some may not be.
    Also, there used to be more regions that were considered German. Parts of Poland, for instance, and East Prussia/Königsberg which is currently the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad.
  15. George Chaney

    George Chaney Well-Known Member

    My best guess, given I cannot find an example, the heart shape of the stamp suggest finland and within the heart is what looks like a variation of the winged ax (hammer?) reminiscent of the mark representing suomen kultaseppa oy of helsinki silver mark - I have no idea if that helps .
    Figtree3 likes this.
  16. DragonflyWink

    DragonflyWink Well-Known Member

    Would suggest the mark is not a heart, but rather a shield bearing a coat of arms. Have seen numerous heart-shape marks, but unless it is the official Finnish crown-in-heart (which was closer to a trefoil until fairly well into the 20th century), wouldn't think Finnish more than anywhere else...

    mystery-marks-nate-tea-set (3).jpg

    Played around a bit with image that seemed clearest to me - don't believe it helped much at all:

    mystery-marks-nate-tea-set (1).jpg

  17. MrNate

    MrNate Well-Known Member

    Thank you George, any clues help. :) :)
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