Comments for Harris of Liverpool Hallmarks

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British Hallmarks on Pocket Watches
by: David

Since I do not have a photo of the watch my answers will be a bit more generalized than I would wish! Hallmarks in England were used only on silver and gold watch cases. Hallmarks were used to denote information on the case ONLY. A total of 4 marks may be found in reference to English watch cases, and they are:---------------(1)-THE CASE MAKERS MARK- These are two or more marks indicating the maker of the case. In your case the casemaker was JM. There are many casemakers with those initials and the exact identity of the casemaker remains unclear at this point. (2)-THE STANDARD MARK-This was a mark used to denote a guarantee of the quality of the metal. In your case the standard mark is a crown and the number 18, which guarantees that the case is 18 karot gold.-----------------------------------(3)-THE ASSAY OFFICE MARK-This was used to denote the location of the Assay Office, which could have been in London, Chester, Birmingham,Dublin or Glasgow. In your example the head of a leopard or lion, with NO CROWN, within a shield shaped box indicates that the Assay Office was in London, AFTER 1822.----------(4)-THE DATE LETTER MARK-This was a letter of the alphabet used to denote the year in which the article was stamped. It was used only on gold and silver objects. In your case a "U" with a serif was used in both 1835 and 1875. In the 1835 example it was contained within a rectangular shape, while in 1875 the U was within a shield shape more in the form of a square. Therefore you can determine the exact year by looking at the letter and the form that contains it.------------------------------ The watch itself was obviously made by Harris in Liverpool. Since I cannot see the movement I can only tell you that there were 4 Harris watchmakers in Liverpool during those years. Charles Harris (1825-1834),Lazarus Harris (1802-1824), J&A Harris (ca. 1864) and William Harris (ca. 1825). Knowing whether the case was made in 1834 or 1875 will help you to determine who the right Harris could be.--------------------------I hope this
information of some help to you.

David A. Sperling




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