Compendium of Chester Gold & Silver Marks 1570-1962 From the Chester Assay Office Registers

Front cover image

Maurice Ridgway, Philip Priestley

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Antique Collectors' Club
Territory: World
Size: 279 mm x 216 mm
Pages: 520
Illustrations: 10,000 b&w

RRP £65.00

  • Only listing of all known Chester marks in easy-to-use format with actual photographs of the marks
  • Only list to include twentieth-century Chester marks
  • Contains nearly 10,000 entries including 800 for the watch trade and 2000 for jewellers
  • Contains 2000 entries with Birmingham addresses
  • Trades range from ecclesiastical vessels to secular items such as table ware, thimbles, pipe mounts, labels, watchcases, jewellery, and wares from the Arts & Crafts movement

This is the first publication in a single work of all known Chester punch marks, and continues the tradition of the standard volumes of Jackson, Grimwade, Culme and Pickford. It is also the first time that the twentieth-century Chester marks have been published. It is produced in dictionary format, in alphabetical order from 1570, the date of the earliest known mark, to 1962 at which time the Chester assay office was closed. The authors, both members of the silver society, were given unlimited access to the Chester assay office records covering 1686 to 1962, and to the Chester Goldsmith's Company records dating from the 16th century.

The compendium has four sections. The preface provides an historical background and details of all extant records and copper plates. Part 1 is devoted to assay office marks, with a full set of date letter tables to assist the reader in dating wares. Part 2 covers nearly 10,000 entries for makers' marks, including pictograms and monograms. Finally, the appendices include items on assay volumes and charges, thimble makers, and Liverpool watchcase makers.

Since over 2,000 of the entries have Birmingham addresses, the new work will also enhance available information on jewellers and silversmiths working in this important trade center. The format of the marks' tables and the extensive index will also allow future research into the relationships between companies and agents.

The late Maurice Ridgway, formerly Canon of the Chester Diocese, has written numerous books on the subject of Chester marks.

Philip Priestley, now retired following a thirty-five-year career with Kodak, is recognised as the foremost expert on punch marks on English gold and silver watchcases.