Reed & Barton silverplate items, like other silver objects, have hallmarks that let you identify them. Between 1928 and 1957, visual markings signifying the year were added to the hallmark, which can help date a piece further. Look for any writing or markings on your silver piece. Some owners add their own marks after they purchase their jewelry; others have it done professionally.
You can identify who made your jewelry by looking at the mark of approval stamps used by different manufacturers.
Bond Street Jewels uses "BSJ" marks on all articles marked with their name. If you find an article with no mark, check with the manufacturer to see if they use another method to identify their products.
Bond Street Jewels was one of the first companies to use its name as a mark of approval. The BSJ stamp is still used today by many other jewelers to indicate that they have sold and/or approved the quality of their work.
Some makers may use other names as marks of approval. For example, Kosta Boda uses "KB" signs next to the name of each store where their jewelry is sold. These signs are also used by other jewelry makers. So if you don't know who made your piece, try to locate one of these marks to identify the brand.
For centuries, British silver has been secured by the stamping of symbols and letters indicating the creator, the Assay Office, and the date the silver piece's quality was validated. Any piece of British sterling silver may be precisely dated thanks to the "date letter." The Date Letter provides information about how long ago certain events took place. It does this by referring to documents called "rolls of honor" that record important events such as battles or royal marriages. These rolls are kept by the Treasury and can only be viewed by request.
The Date Letter system began in 1662 when Charles II issued a decree requiring that all coins and plates used by the government be marked with their production year and office. This is why every coin you see with the symbol for Queen Elizabeth II on it was made after she became queen in 1952. Before then, coins were made for other people, usually members of the royal family.
Similarly, items made from 1580-1660 were not silver but rather brass or iron. During this time, Britain was involved in many wars where they needed to keep troops fed and armed. Items made from these metals could be recognized by the absence of any symbols relating to purity, weight, or measure.
In addition to dating coins, plates, and weapons, the Date Letter also marks out what role someone had within the government at the time the item was made.
Early Wedgwood pieces may be unmarked, but the presence of the proper mark indicates authenticity and should help you to estimate the piece's real age. Marks of Wedgwood (from 1790 on)
From 1759 through 1780, Wedgwood hallmarks
The style of potter's markings on Wedgwood jasperware may typically be used to date it, however there are several exceptions: Prior to 1860, Mark was "Wedgwood," which was frequently accompanied by other potter's marks and a single letter. From 1860 to 1929, a three-letter mark signified the month, the potter, and the year in that sequence. The 1930s introduction of safety precautions for kiln workers resulted in reduced availability of pre-1930 pieces with the new mark system.
After 1929, all jasperware manufactured at the Burslem factory was dated either with the full name or the monogram. This service was available only on white ware and only during the production run for which it was designed. Dated pieces can often be identified by inspecting the back of the serving dish for the manufacturer's code and/or the presence of the monogram. If no such mark appears, then the piece is unmarked.
The first two years of production were marked "JW." In 1933, the word "Burslem" was added to the bottom center of the dish. In 1935, the word "England" was added to the bottom right corner. These three words formed the Burslem Monogram, an identification system that allowed collectors to match known dishes with those in museum collections or public displays. The Burslem Monogram was used until the company changed its manufacturing process in 1960 to one that did not require unique designations for each piece.
The style of potter's markings on Wedgwood jasperware may typically be used to date it, however there are several exceptions:
Look at the bottom of an old butcher block to discover how old it is. If the unit was made by Wood Welded Companies, it will include a date stamp specifying the month and year the block was made. A date stamp of 10/16, for example, shows that the block was constructed in October of 1916. If the block is older than this, no date stamp will be found at the bottom.
Butcher blocks are often used as kitchen counters because they are easy to clean. The wood is also very durable so you don't have to worry about them breaking down over time. If you want to date your counter, look for one with the same make and model number as well as a lot number or serial number. These numbers are usually found on the back of the unit next to the supply closet where you can find replacement parts if needed.
Butcher blocks come in many sizes and shapes. It's important to choose one that fits your kitchen design perfectly so you have room to store all your knives. If you need help finding one that suits your needs, call up a contractor or architect and ask what size block would be best for your project. They should be able to guide you toward something appropriate.
Butcher blocks are inexpensive but can become expensive if you have to buy replacements parts. If you plan to cook a lot of meat on your block, it might be worth the investment to get a quality unit that will last for years to come.