This is not only "The Bible" for English hallmarks, but is the most comprehensive book for Scottish and Irish too. Each assay office and provincial centre is discussed separately, with comprehensive detailing of its history and development. The complete cycles of date letters for all the assay offices are illustrated, with any oddities noted. All makers’ marks unearthed during Sir Charles’ (and others in later editions) research are illustrated in chronological order for each town, and where known, the name of the silversmith is supplied.

It is a big and hefty book, which can take some getting used to. There is an index of makers’ marks, which helps to trace each mark. It is particularly comprehensive for pre 1800 London silversmiths, and is excellent for tracing rare provincial marks. Other books provide better information for post 1800 makers, however there is not currently a single book that provides comprehensive listings of all the assay offices from this date. The early editions of this book are very collectible and therefore expensive, the Ian Pickford edition has been massively up-dated and is the suggested edition for use as a reference book. For any serious spoon collector this book is a "must have". 

Rating *****


pages: 768

Published: 1905/21/64/89

1989 Edition by Ian Pickford

Publisher: Antique Collectors' Club (1989)