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Posted by / 04-Mar-2015 19:41

Dating french candlesticks

The French assay mark for sterling silver is the head of the goddess Minerva.

In fact, the French standard for sterling silver is higher than that of other nations, requiring a silver content of 950 parts per thousand, or 95% silver.

The head was encircled by a frame, optionally composed of convex, concave and straight lines.

Since these could vary considerably in purity, from around .750 millesimal fineness to around .900, silver known as "coin silver" varies in purity.

Candlesticks were made of brass, pewter, glass, sterling silver, plated silver, and all types of pottery and porcelain.

The earliest candlesticks, dating from the sixteenth century, held the candle on a pricket (sharp pointed spike).

Therefore, hallmarking is generally done before the piece goes for its final polishing.

The hallmark for sterling silver varies from nation to nation, often using distinctive historic symbols, although Dutch and UK Assay offices no longer strike their traditional hallmarks exclusively in their own territories and undertake assay in other countries using marks that are the same as those used domestically.

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