French Silverware Hallmarks

Here are the most important French silver marks to date the manufacturing starting from 18th century. This only shows marks for silverware manufactured in Paris. Samples of marks for silverware manufactured outside of Paris are listed below.

Hallmarks from 1798 to the present

The Guarantee Mark

This guarantees the payment of taxes on precious metals. It is a modernized version of the marks used during the pre-Revolution era (“poinçons de charge” and “poinçons de décharge”).

In Paris, marks are different for gold and for silver, and depending on the object being of large, middle or small guarantee. To prevent fraud, guarantee marks were renewed in 1809 and 1819.

Standard and guarantee marks created in 1838 are used nowadays.

Title Marks

Title marks guarantee the amount of silver in the alloy. 2 standards exist for silver, indicated by the number 1 or 2 on the mark.

In order to put an end to fake hallmarks, the Administration des monnaies creates new title marks in 1819 and in 1838.

Title 1 silver: 950 thousandths silver. Title 2: 800 thousandths of silver.

1er coq 

PARIS

OUTSIDE PARIS

Title 1 silver
1798-1809

Paris 1er titre

Province 1er titre

Title 2 silver
1798-1809

Paris 2ème titre

Province 2ème titre

 

 2e coq

 PARIS

 OUTSIDE PARIS

Title 1 silver
1809-1819

2ème Coq 1er titre Paris 2ème Coq 1er titre Province  

 2ème Coq 2ème titre Paris

Title 2 silver
1809 à 1819

 2ème Coq 2ème titre Province

 ?

 

VIEILLARD (Old Man)

PARIS

OUTSIDE PARIS

Title 1 silver
1819-1838

Vieillard 1er titre Paris

Vieillard 1er titre Province

Title 2 silver
1819-1838

Vieillard 2ème titre Paris

Vieillard 2ème titre Province

 

MINERVA

PARIS AND REST OF FRANCE

Title 1 silver
1838 to present

Minerve 1er titre

Title 2 silver
1838 to present

 Minerve 2ème titre


The 18th century

Paris from 1698 to 1789

Hallmarks: “Fermiers généraux”

Marks of charge: letter A for Paris

This mark is stamped by representatives of the State called “Bureau des fermiers des droits du Roi” on the silver item while it is being created. The silversmith commits to bringing back the finished object in order to pay taxes levied by the State on precious metals.

Marks of discharge prove that the artisan has paid the tax on precious metals.

Marks of "Maison Commune" or "Jurande"

The date letter or "jurande" letter makes it possible to determine the exact date when the piece was created. A letter of the alphabet is matched to each given year. This mark, which guarantees the quality of the silver, is stamped by the “Maison Commune”, which is the town guild of metal workers.

The crown above this mark is open, as opposed to the crown above the maker's mark which is closed. The largest community of metal workers was in Paris.

 

Here is a summary table for Paris between 1698 and 1798


DATE

Names of the "fermiers généraux"

Marks of charge

Date or Jurande Letters

DATE

Names of the "fermiers généraux"

Marks of charge

Date or "jurande" letters

april
1698

Pierre Perrine

à compléter

E 1698

F 1699

G 1700

H 1701

I 1702

october
1703

Etienne Baligny

à compléter

J 1703

L 1704

M 1705

N 1706

O 1707

october
1708

Florent Sollier

à compléter

P 1708

Q 1709

R 1710

S 1711

T 1712

V 1713

X 1714

october
1715

Paul Manis

à compléter

Y 1715

Z 1716

october
1717

Etienne de Bouges,
Charles Yvon,
Armand Pilavoine,
Charles Cordier

à compléter

A 1717

B 1718

C 1719

D 1720

E 1721

February
1722

Charles Cordier

à compléter

F 1722

G 1723

H 1724

I 1725

December
1726

Jacques Cottin,
Louis Gervais

à compléter

K 1726

L 1727

M 1728

O 1729

P 1730

Q 1731

october
1732

Hubert Louvet

à compléter

R 1732

S 1733

T 1734

V 1735

X 1736

october
1738

Louis Robin 

à compléter

Y 1738

Z 1739

A 1740

B 1742

C 1743

october
1744

Antoine Les-Chaudel

à compléter

D 1744

E 1745

F 1746

G 1747

H 1748

I 1749

october
1750

 Julien Berthe

à compléter

K 1750

L 1752

M 1752

N 1753

O 1754

P 1755

october
1756

Eloy Brichard

à compléter

Q 1756

R 1757

S 1758

T 1759

V 1760

X 1761

october
1762

Jean-Jacques Pévost

à compléter

Y 1762

Z 1763

A 1764

B 1765

C 1766

D 1767

october
1768

Julien Alaterre

à compléter

E 1768

F 1769

G 1770

H 1771

I 1772

K 1773

november
1774

Jean Baptiste Fouache,
Dominique Compant

à compléter

L 1774

M 1775

N 1776

O 1777

P 1778

Q 1779

july
1780

Henri Clavel

à compléter

R 1780

S 1781

august
1782

Henri Clavel

à compléter

T 1782

U 1783

P 1784

P 1785

P 1786

P 1787

P 1788

February
1789

Jean -François Calandrin

à compléter

P 1789

 


Outside Paris, from 1698 to 1789

The mark of “Maison Commune” or “Jurande”: this mark guarantees the quality of the precious metal.

A mark of “reconnaissance” indicates the town where the piece was manufactured. It is changed every time a new election of a "garde" occurs in the municipality. It bears a letter or a symbol of the town which it hails from.

Date letter: the Maker's Mark will show the symbol of the town, whereas the "jurande" mark will generally feature a letter identifying the name of the elected municipality's “garde”, thus indicating the year in which the piece was created.

Hallmark: marks of "fermiers généraux" appear under a closed crown

Marks of charge and discharge show that taxes on precious metals were paid for each jurisdiction. It also helps identifying the origin of a given piece.

Marks of charge


A

PARIS

M

TOULOUSE

Z

GRENOBLE

B

ROUEN

N

MONTPELLIER

&

AIX

C

CAEN

O

RIOM

AA

METZ

D

LYON

P

DIJON

BB

STRASBOURG

E

TOURS

Q

PERPIGNAN

CC

BESANÇON

F

ANGERS

 R

ORLEANS

W

LILLE

G

POITIERS

S

REIMS

 9

RENNES

H

LA ROCHELLE

T

NANTES

Crowned cow

PAU

I

LIMOGES

X

AMIENS

V

TROYES

K

BORDEAUX

Y

BOURGES

 

 

AB

BAYONNE

Z

GRENOBLE

 

 

 

à compléter

Table of the marks emitted between 1775 and 1881, reviewed by J.B. Fouache.

 

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