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Queen Victoria Silver Dish

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Hems303's items46 of 51Victorian Silver Engravers work samples.My Norton Commando 750
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Posted 5 years ago


(51 items)

This is a recent addition to my silver collection: It is a silver Memorial Dish "following" the death of Queen Victoria. What really makes me smile is the way Sampson Mordan the famous silversmiths hold in check their respect for Queen Victoria when commercial opportunity arises. What do I mean??? Well.....Queen Victoria, as we all know, died in 1901... the hallmark (3rd) photo is for 1900.* Obviously the Queen was probably very frail, even to say "poorly" by late 1900...So possibly The Company seeing a looming opportunity rushed out this memorial dish so it could be assayed and marked READY for the good Queen's demise, and a "quick buck". Maybe this is why it is smithed around a 1900 Florin Piece and not a 1901 minted coin (they would have had to wait another year for that!) I think it would have been a bit of a blow to Mordan's if Queen Victoria had soldiered on for another year! I suppose they could have always melted it down and started again!

Another interesting mark is in the dark area in the 2nd Photo...... that looks like ....Vz/t. This is a Pawn Brokers mark (which they often made/make when taking in valuable metal items). At sometime a previous owner of this dish fell on hard times and visited their local pawnbroker....did they ever manage to reclaim it...we'll never know!

*Please see Vetraio50's very valid and erudite comments below; on the assay timings, as it is easy to wrongly assume the given date (year) letter mark is a given Jan 1st to Dec 31st, start/finish year.
(Also; occasionally, items made a considerable time before being presented for assay, end up bearing a later (than manufacture) year mark)

So all in all; the marks on our collectables often deliver up a veritable host of interesting clues as to the item's hiSTORY and background! (* As long as we do not read too much into them, or conversely; too superficially ;)


  1. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
    Hi Hems! You might be being a bit cruel on Samson Mordan. Victoria died quite early in 1901: January 21. In London date letter changes happen in May and not in January.
    "The date letter year in London, for example, ran from May 20 in one year to May 18 the following year, for the very good reason that the goldsmiths' year began on May 19, the festival day of their patron saint Dunstan, when no business was transacted, and ended the following year on Saint Dunstan's Eve, May 18. "
    But I agree with that they would have been preparing for the inevitable moment.
  2. Hems303 Hems303, 5 years ago
    Hi mustangtony, BELLIN68, officialfuel, AR8Jason, vetraio50 and scandinavian_pieces, thanks for all the "loves", much appreciated.

    Regarding my comments on good 'ole Sampson Mordan (by this time it was his two sons who were very successfully running the business).... I was being a bit "tongue in cheek" and maybe just a little cruel in my analysis of the timeline.....but it would have been VERY close even with the usual, well known vagaries of the assay process, and usual tardy release of the new years' minted coins.....lets just say that Mordans' progeny were up there with him in the business accumen stakes! ;)
  3. Hems303 Hems303, 5 years ago
    For more Sampson Mordan background see my post:
  4. vetraio50 vetraio50, 5 years ago
    What the marks do say is that the boys were quick off the mark! They were made and assayed ( and probably on the shelves ) from January 23 to May 18. A bit more than a hundred days!
  5. Hems303 Hems303, 5 years ago
    Too true, vetraio50! There never was any moss growing on the Mordans right from the early days of Sampson Senior with sidekick John Isaac Hawkins, through the Gabriel Riddle days, the Sampson Junior & Augustus period, post sons, right up until the falling bombs ended it all for good in 1941! (One of the lesser disasters of that fateful, horrible year!)
  6. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 5 years ago
    A most beautiful work!!, and a fascinating and worthy description and thread! Thank you, gentlemen!
  7. Hems303 Hems303, 5 years ago
    For the "love it's" and kind comments above; I thank walksoftly, miKKoChristmas11, czechman, scandinavian_pieces, Hunter, Manikin, vetraio50, AR8Jason, officialfuel, BELLIN68 and mustangtony!


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