Elkan & Eve were discussing a baffling hallmark on the Hallmark Challenge in the Garden of Adin. The conversation went something like this... .
When it comes to Antique Jewelry Hallmarks, I'm pretty sure that I can show you at least 40 different horse heads. Eve, which direction does the head point to0? Left? Right? Straight forward? Does it have a neck? Does it have flyaway hair?
Is its mouth open or closed? Is its eye or eyes open or closed, or one closed eye and one open? How are its nostrils, open or closed? Could it be a unicorn but badly struck, so you don't see the horn? Perhaps it's a donkey and not a horse?
Is the mark in a cartouche or not? If it is in a cartouche what is the shape? Is there a number with it or a letter? Is that number in the cartouche our outside of it? What position is it, above or under? Is it a normal number or Roman? Is it a stamped hallmark or could it be an engraving? Is it a Hallmark of Great Britain? What proof do I have the customer is not mistaken in declaring it is stamped? Etc. Etc. Etc.
A picture tells a thousand words. Pictures from several positions of the piece give an indication of what period and what area and direction to think about in the determination of the hallmarks.
It is the expert's duty, to keep in charge of the way of working, and if not, there is no quality.
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