Belgian Silver Hallmark
Belgium / Belgian Silver Marks, Illustrated & Explained
Unlike other countries, hallmark in Belgium is voluntary and is not legislated by any law. All hallmarks are applied by officially independent Assay offices. It is common to find a Belgium silver article with only the silver fineness hallmark with no maker mark.
1809 - 1814 (2nd empire period)
1- Assay / fineness mark - silver standard: The so-called Second Coq (four variations) with a double line. The second standard 800/000 is more frequent. Not many items of this period are in existence.
2- Maker's mark: two or three initials, or the full name, with or without a ?symbol? again in either vertical or horizontal lozenge form. This system of marks is used in France till 1819, in Belgium only until 1814 due to the Dutch invasion.
3- Guarantee mark – Hallmark: A ‘helmeted warrior’, the number of the department is engraved inside the helmet, which is sometimes difficult to read.
14.09.1814 till 18.8.1831
Assay mark - silver standard: In a rectangular form with cut corners: A Figure 1 below two Crossed Laurel branches, for 934/1000 silver. (Adaptation to the Dutch Regime) - Or In a Square form: A Figure 2 below two crossed laurel branches, for 833/1000 silver.
Figure 1: Silver fineness .934
Figure 2: Silver fineness .833
Guarantee mark – Hallmark: Which will determine in which city the silversmith was registered. The punch mark called: ‘A la main fermée’ - In a circle: a hand holding a stick. In the circle above the hand we’ll find a letter. A different letter represents each city). (Ex: A for Brussels, B for Antwerp, C for Gand, D for Liège, and E for Mons etc. Cf. Tardy Poinçon d’argent.)
In circle hand holding a stick and letter A silver hallmark
Assay mark- silver standard: In a rectangular form with cut corners: A ‘LYRE’ a figure 1 and letter T (for 1er Titre = 950/1000 silver content). Or more commonly used, the ‘JANUS’ double head in a rectangular form, with figure 2 (for 800/1000 silver content).
Figure 1: Belgian government fineness mark 1st standard mark: Lyra, number 1 and letter T (silver fineness .950) silver hallmark
Figure 2: Belgian government fineness mark 2nd standard mark silver fineness .800
Guarantee mark – Hallmark: In a circle a ‘MINERVA’ head, face turned right. Engraved in the helmet is a letter. A different letter represents each city. (Ex: A for Brussels, B for Antwerp, C for Gand, D for Liège, E for Mons etc. Cf. Tardy Poinçon d’argent
In a circle a MINERVA head, face turned right and A on helmet (A=Brussels) silver hallmark
Assay mark for silver fineness standard=.900 / 90% for big articles
Assay mark for silver fineness standard=.800 / 80% silver content for big articles
Assay mark for silver fineness standard=.900 / 90% silver content for small articles
Assay mark for silver fineness standard=.800 / 80% for small articles
From 1942 onwards
Official mark for big articles: flower and number 1= (silver fineness .925) silver hallmark
Official mark for big articles silver fineness .835
Official mark for small articles: flower (silver fineness .925) silver hallmark
Official mark for small articles silver fineness .835