Snuff Box With Rare Sun Mark For Gold

Discussion in 'Silver' started by paul f, Nov 13, 2015.

  1. paul f

    paul f New Member

    I have a snuff box with marks for London for gold, 1826. I have never been able to find an actual example of the sun mark online anywhere, only illustrations of it. Can anyone point me to where I can find an image of the actual mark on another object?
    KingofThings likes this.
  2. springfld.arsenal

    springfld.arsenal Store:

    Can you post a better-focused photo?
    KingofThings likes this.
  3. paul f

    paul f New Member

    I will try but it was difficult to get it even that good. I will try though.
    KingofThings likes this.
  4. moreotherstuff

    moreotherstuff Izorizent

    Can you show the whole box?
  5. Ladybranch

    Ladybranch Well-Known Member

    I also would love to see the whole box. I agree the date code (3rd punch) is for 1826 with the duty mark of George IV, monarch's head, the 1st punch and the correct London leopard head in a shield punch on the right. I haven't ever seen the London 1816-1843 of 22 ct. gold sun mark (per Pocket Edition - Jackson's Hallmarks English, Scottish, Irish silver & Gold Marks from 1300 to the Present Day, edited by Ian Pickford, p. 33) on an item before, but it certainly looks like the sun mark but slightly squished. Can only find graphic pics.

    Now per Jackson's Hallmarks, p. 38, the sun mark was also used by London 1904-1905 on imported wares - I believe on both silver and gold.

    "Between 1816 and 1844 a rare mark (the sun) for 22 carats gold has been in use at least in London."
    1. About 3rd paragraph under the section Gold and Platinum.

    2. To see the sun used as an import mark in 1904 for London, scroll down to the 2nd large green graph. It is the first line of the chart.

    --- Susan

    [Adding an edit]
    Baker, was hoping you had something to add to this query!
    Here's the best I can do with your posted pic. As I said above the punch does look like a sun, but squished or cut off at the bottom.

    Last edited: Nov 14, 2015
    Bakersgma likes this.
  6. moreotherstuff

    moreotherstuff Izorizent

    I don't think it's a sun mark. I think it's a lion passant. According to "18th Century Gold Boxes of Europe" (Kenneth Snowman, Sacheverell Sitwell), a lion passant was used to designate 22k gold up until 1844. A crown conjoined with the number 18 was introduced when 18k gold for boxes was authorized in 1798. After 1844 the lion passant was replaced by a crown with the number 22 for 22k gold. Unfortunately, none of these marks is illustrated.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2015
    komokwa likes this.
  7. Bakersgma

    Bakersgma Well-Known Member

    I agree - not a sun, a lion.

    Great job on the photo editing, Susan. I had never even heard about a sun for gold marking before.
    komokwa likes this.
  8. DragonflyWink

    DragonflyWink Well-Known Member

    Hesitate to respond to any post with fuzzy, incomplete pics of marks and no image of the item itself, but will say that from what can be seen, it does look like a lion passant, London 1826/27 hallmarks - pics of the item can help in identification, the maker's mark can confirm a date by their working dates and is often relevant since many specialized in certain types of items. Not where I can run through any references (light on British anyway), but seemed to recall that date marks from a given year differed in cartouche shape on gold and silver. Thought gold watch cases might be a good place to find that elusive 'sun' mark - no luck (though I have seen it on 1904-05 import items), but did find the page linked below, noting that the 'sun' mark, used on 22ct gold to distinguish it from gilt silver, was stamped in addition to the lion passant from 1816 to 1844, when the mark was switched to the same crown and numeric carat mark as used on 18ct.

    See next to last paragraph under 'Standard Marks':

    Last edited: Nov 15, 2015
    Ladybranch and Bakersgma like this.
  9. Ladybranch

    Ladybranch Well-Known Member

    >...stamped in addition to the lion passant from 1816 to 1844, when the mark was switched to the same crown and numeric carat mark as used on 18ct.<

    Good spotting, Cheryl! I looked at that page, but only glanced through it. I've now gone back and reread Jackson's Hallmarks, p. 33. Lo and behold it uses the word "added" with the "sun" mark 1816-1843. On the right of the page is a chart of the "Silver & Gold (22ct)" hallmarks used from 1816-17 to 1835-36. The first set of marks, 1816-17, shows the leopard head, date letter, lion passant and duty mark. Next to the 1816-17 is a mark denoting more info on the page. Lower down on the left is the same mark with a pic of the "sun" mark and the info "Added 1816-17 for 22ct. gold." Blaming it on having a "senior moment," the word "Added" didn't register. Soooooo it certainly would have a lion passant punch if that was the "sun" 22 ct mark for 1816-1844! I apologize to one and all, excuse me while I have another bite of "humble pie." :oops:

    Am including a scan of the added sun from Jackson's Hallmarks, p. 33.

    --- Susan
    komokwa likes this.
  10. Ladybranch

    Ladybranch Well-Known Member

    Question now, with that not being the "added" sun mark for 22 ct gold in 1826, I wonder just what it is? Possibly not even gold, but silver with a gold wash??? OP, original poster, we really need to see a pic of the wholeeee box.

    --- Susan
    komokwa likes this.
  11. paul f

    paul f New Member

    I will upload additional photos tomorrow, but in the meantime, regardless if the mark in question is a lion passant or sun, the shape of the date letter does indicate gold, correct? It appears to have cut corners, while the date letters For London 1826 for silver should be oval shaped.
  12. moreotherstuff

    moreotherstuff Izorizent

    Was the sun mark added to differentiate between lion passant gold and lion passant silver?

    I imagine there would be a significant difference in weight between 22k gold and sterling silver - a readily apparent difference in something like a box.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015
  13. Ladybranch

    Ladybranch Well-Known Member

    I believe the date letters are the same for both gold and silver. Some of the charts online do not clearly show the shape of the punches/cartouches. Here are a few sites for the London date letter charts. It appears the shape for the 1820s should be cut on the 4 corners with a dimple thingy hanging down in the middle of the bottom side. The letters are lower case:

    Need to scroll down to find the 1820s:

    Click on 1716-1856

    The shape around the 1826 "l" in this chart is messed up. It should look like the shape around the other 1820s letters. hallmarks.pdf

    Also note the shape of the punch for 1826 in the chart I posted in Message #9 above.

    BTW, everyone, the more I look at the mark I originally thought was a sun, I can now make out the lion passant. What I thought were rays on the right side are the 2 front paws of the lion with 1 one in the air, 1 is his head, and the top ray(s) are his tail waving behind/over his head.

    --- Susan
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015
    yourturntoloveit likes this.
  14. paul f

    paul f New Member

    I thought we had some of the best marijuana in the world here in the SF bay area. I really need whatever some of you are smoking. Lions? Tigers? Tails wagging? Oh my! Lol. I guess I gotta get that image updated. Where is that tail and crown again? I will upload confirmation that gold date letter cartouche is shaped different, also.

    Attached Files:

  15. afantiques

    afantiques Well-Known Member

    I can clearly see the lion passant by the duty mark. When you see hundreds or thousands of these marks they become very familiar and it is easy to see the details in fragmented or rubbed marks. There is no sun mark on this box.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015
    komokwa likes this.
  16. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    Good call, you are very brave !!!
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