Hardcover: 768 pages
Publisher: Antique Collectors Club Dist; 3rd Revised edition (March 30, 2009)
Product Dimensions: 9 x 2.2 x 11.1 inches
Shipping Weight: 6.2 pounds
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #1,535,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #153 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Antiques & Collectibles > Precious Metals #346053 in Books > Reference
Jackson's book is the definitive reference for the serious collector of English silver. It clearly explains the English silver standards, and provides a basis for understanding the silver standards of the world. It provides an in depth history of the development of the English system of hallmarks and provides a detailed study of intricate hallmark variations. A must in dating English silver.
Having had the smaller pocket-version of this book, I found the larger one disappointing. Although it has an endless supply of lesser known makers, it is much harder to locate their synbols/names as they are not listed alphabetically (as in the pocket version) but listed on the date that particular company was registered with the guild. In other words you could find a piece of silver with the date letter of 1852 and the maker's mark IB. Instead of just looking up the IB's alphabetically and comparing those symbols with the silver in your hand, you must look up IB in the index (there are 53 different references in this case) and check each corresponding page to see if it's the same as the one you have. It's just not as easy - maybe I'm being lazy. Anyway...
This is the ultimate Bible of sterling identification. Every KNOWN silversmith mark is pictured and identified along with a brief history of the designer. Fascinating, accurate and essential for antique dealers, collectors and public libraries.
This book is a must for any dealer, collector, appraiser or precious metal enthusiast. It covers the hallmarks and many makers marks of the United Kingdom in detail. Dates covered in the 2005 edition are from 1300 - 1989.
I gave 5 stars for it for a huge amount of very interesting and important material gathered in it. However despite some improvements of the catalogisation of hallmarks in this book it is not very easy to find what you are looking for. The Arthur Grimwade's London Goldsmiths 1697-1837 is definitely much more easier to use for quick reference but unfortunately it is limited to London registers.
.com offers "Jackson's Silver and Gold Marks of England, Scotland and Ireland" 2nd hand for a fair price compared to my local bookstores. Although not of great use if you collect English silver items late 19th century, it is a great book about the history of the British hallmark system and early silversmiths.
If,as I have, you have taken a peek into the back room of many auction houses you will find what I have called "the Holy Trinity" . These are Goddens Encyclopaedia of marks etc, Brittons Old clocks and watches, and this tome. No lightweight and its own bulk makes it liable to fall to pieces, but the Holy Trinity all suffer from that fate, not from obesity but from usage. Usage as in constant referral till the thing is grimy and falling to pieces just as the best reference books should be. All three books are serious reference works, not an idiots guide to.... and take time effort and application to master their proper usage As essential as a X 10 magnification jewellers loupe, these two tools will pay for themselves many times over.A must for the professional and any serious collector.
To anyone interested in the history of British sterling silver, and the interpretation of the hallmarks that adorn their beautiful form,(and without any disrespect), this is the Bible. It is comprehensive, well organised, and brings understanding to what otherwise seems a mystical subject. I collect only Sterling Silver Egg-Cups, but even this small part of Silver is much more meaningful in the light of this important reference book.
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