Pseudo hallmark

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The term pseudo hallmark is conventionally used for 18th, 19th and early 20th century marks which either resemble marks from other makers, towns, countries and assay offices or are complete fantasy marks. These marks are found on reproductions made primarily in Hanau, Germany, but pseudo marks have been used extensively by Dutch and Italian reproducers as well as manufacturers from other German cities.

The legislative situation in Hanau, where no guild or any other hallmark laws were in place, allowed makers to stamp their items in any way they wanted. The makers of reproduction jewelry (and flatware) therefor stamped their items with series of marks which would make their items resemble originals. Some makers went as far as copying marks from other makers, assay offices etc, a practice which can be seen as outright deceptive. Others are just complete fantasy marks which often leave appraisers puzzled. There have been no records kept of these marks so identifying them is a difficult task. The reproduction industry of Hanau was quite an extensive one and its articles are well dispersed since sales representatives of the Hanau silver industry were to be found all over the world. The German reproduction industry was extensively promoted at most World Exhibitions in the 19th century.

A few people have made a study out of pseudo marks and documentation does exist. If you wish to read more on the subject we recommend reading this article by Jörg Müller-Daehn on www.925-1000.com. This site also features quite a known examples of pseudo marks, linked to the companies that used them.

Lang Antiques
Lang Antiques