Sunday, May 20, 2012

Marked...British Registry Marks

Victorian Scottish Luckenbooth Pin
Learning about silver hallmarks, particularly on antique jewelry, can be quite confusing. Especially when you don’t know where to start. This is an article that I wrote several years ago. I hope that you will find it useful in your research.

Looking through my collection of antique jewelry, I ran across a Scottish Luckenbooth pin. The history and lore behind Luckenbooth pins is quite fascinating on it’s own. My sister has traced our family roots back to Scotland. So I thought this pin would make a great gift for her. 

The pin does not have any of the usual hallmarks that I had seen on British silver jewelry. So after a lot of researching (years)…I was at a loss. I did an image search on Google for antique Luckenbooth pins. (I have found the Google image search to be a great research tool.) Of the few pins that looked similar to mine, and were hallmarked, I ran across the words “diamond mark” and “British Registry”. I did a search on these terms and low and behold ...there was my answer. The marks on my pin are not silver hallmarks. They are British registry marks! I was so excited! (OK…It does not take much for me!)

The marks on the back of the pin are kind of like early design copyrights. So I found out that the design of my pin was registered on February 22, 1866. That does not mean that my pin was actually made on that date. It could have been produced a few years earlier or many years later. But that date was the date that the design was officially registered with the British government. I had already formed an opinion as to the age of the pin from it‘s style and construction, and I was pretty close. The British Registry is not only for jewelry, but for all types of items that would need protection for their designs. For example: metal items, furniture, ceramics…etc.

Registry mark on the back of the Luckenbooth pin.

Here is the link to the site that explains the British Registry.
It has a great chart that is easy to use. This site is also a wealth of information for silver hallmarks! I hope that my findings will save you some time. Maybe this is what you have been searching for as well! I think it is information worth sharing. This is a wonderful site that I use and refer people to often. 

I hope that this has helped someone out there! Looking for some really interesting pieces of antique and vintage jewelry? Visit my shop, Wicked Darling.

Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, I have been searching for this. I have a brooch with the same hallmark, only in gold.