Lion passant for gold item?

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amena
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Lion passant for gold item?

Postby amena » Fri Dec 14, 2018 4:39 am

I do not know what to think.
In a well-known online auction site a snuffbox is on sale, described as
A George III snuff box - .750 (18 kt) gold - dated 1776
It is sold by a British antique dealer and endorsed by an expert and so I have had many doubts.
I thought these marks were for silver objects, not gold
Image
Is it? Can you remove this doubt please?
Amena

AG2012
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Re: Lion passant for gold item?

Postby AG2012 » Fri Dec 14, 2018 5:21 am

Hi,
Hallmarks on British precious metals:
Sterling Silver, Britannia Silver, Gold, Palladium, Platinum

Image

(London 1776,maker not identified).
Regards

amena
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Re: Lion passant for gold item?

Postby amena » Fri Dec 14, 2018 5:36 am

Hello Ag 2012
So you confirm that under no circumstances can the lion passant indicate solid gold.
Thank you for taking away any doubt
I am astonished as an " expert" can endorse something that borders on the scam.

dognose
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Re: Lion passant for gold item?

Postby dognose » Fri Dec 14, 2018 5:59 am

Hi Amena,

No, the marks are correct. Give me a little time, it's a long time since I've thought about such marking, I'll come back to you.

Trev.

dognose
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Re: Lion passant for gold item?

Postby dognose » Fri Dec 14, 2018 6:19 am

Yes, like Inspector Clouseau, 'It's all coming back to me now!'

The marks are correct for gold, they were the same as Sterling silver at this period of time. What is wrong is the carat value, there was no 18ct standard in 1776, only 22ct. (18ct was reintroduced in 1798).

'ILI' is probably Joseph Lejeune.

Trev.

AG2012
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Re: Lion passant for gold item?

Postby AG2012 » Fri Dec 14, 2018 6:32 am

The lion passant was the fineness mark used on 22 carat gold from 1544 until 1844.

The problem here is the year because the 18 carat standard was introduced in 1798 and it was marked with a crown and the number 18.

After 1844 both standards were marked with a crown and either the number 22 or 18.

It is either unchecked 22 carat or sub-standard 18 carat.

AG2012
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Re: Lion passant for gold item?

Postby AG2012 » Fri Dec 14, 2018 6:43 am

On the other hand, it`s probably not 1776 because the shield shapes around the date letters used on gold items were different to those used on silver items.There are no date tables for gold (as far as I can tell), meaning interpretation is based on silver date letter tables.
Collectors of gold case watches are more familiar with the issue, because gold was extremely expensive and who could afford candlesticks,plates and other domestic items made of pure gold ?

AG2012
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Re: Lion passant for gold item?

Postby AG2012 » Fri Dec 14, 2018 6:43 am

On the other hand, it`s probably not 1776 because the shield shapes around the date letters used on gold items were different to those used on silver items.There are no date tables for gold (as far as I can tell), meaning interpretation is based on silver date letter tables.
Collectors of gold case watches are more familiar with the issue, because gold was extremely expensive and who could afford candlesticks,plates and other domestic items made of pure gold ?

dognose
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Re: Lion passant for gold item?

Postby dognose » Fri Dec 14, 2018 6:47 am

Hi AG,

It is either unchecked 22 carat or sub-standard 18 carat.


I don't understand what you mean by that. Can you explain?

Trev.

AG2012
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Re: Lion passant for gold item?

Postby AG2012 » Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:12 am

18 carat standard would be illegal (i.e. sub - standard) if the year is 1776.
It could be 22 carat gold and the auctioneers probably did not even check the purity of gold, they just guessed 18 carat.
Or it`s 18 carat but made later than 1776 when .750 became legal.
Regards

dognose
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Re: Lion passant for gold item?

Postby dognose » Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:55 am

Thanks AG, I see where you are coming from now.

There have never been any different date letters for gold and silver and the variations of the shield shape were, to my knowledge, a later introduction.

To me, the marks looks good for 22ct, London, 1776. At that date there was probably no need for separate marks for gold and silver. However, it should be remembered that at this time, plating was not the art that it was later to become. Thus, a silver piece from then could be later gold plated and caution and necessary testing would be advisable.

Trev.

dognose
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Re: Lion passant for gold item?

Postby dognose » Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:59 am

Sotheby's published the below comment regarding a gold snuff box by Joseph Lejeune assayed in 1776:

The maker's mark on this box is that of a hitherto unconsidered London goldsmith called Joseph Lejeune of Lichfield Street, Soho, who entered his mark (ILI) at Goldsmiths' Hall on 5 February 1778. Arthur Grimwade (London Goldsmiths, 1697-1837, p. 305) thought that Lejeune might have been a watchcase maker, presumably because, in common with many in that category, his was an incuse mark rather than a cameo.
Mr. Grimwade (p. 304) had the same thought about another incuse mark (IL) entered by Joseph Lejeune from nearby Porter Street, Seven Dials on 9 June 1760. But in neither of these entries did he make a connection between them and a later goldsmith's cameo mark (IIL, pellets between) entered by John Joseph Le Jeune from 3 Stacey Street, Soho on 14 January 1784.

Stacey Street is a stone's throw from Denmark Street, St. Giles's (directly east of the parish of St. Anne, Soho), where Joseph Le Jeune is recorded in a Sun insurance policy of 1777 (MS 11936/388968) as an enameller, engine-turner and small worker. The Land Tax record of 1782 for Denmark Street finds Joseph Lejune paying rates on a house next to Joseph Bramah (1748-1814), the engineer and inventor whose name in synonymous with patent locks; and nearby several others in the goldsmiths' trade including James Moriset (Morriset), R. & C. Lukin and Gabl. Wirgman.

It is clear that Lejeune / Le Jeune / Lejune and several other contemporaneous individuals with the same surname living in London during the second half of the 18th century were members of the same family. So far their exact relationship remains open to speculation. That Joseph Lejeune, who on the evidence of this present snuff box was a goldworker (and possibly also a watchcase maker), was living so close to craftsmen of the calibre of James Morriset and the others, renders him of more than passing interest.


Trev.

amena
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Re: Lion passant for gold item?

Postby amena » Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:28 am

Well, now I learned something new.
I am not interested in gold, but it is always good to be informed. In any case, even without testing, you should feel the difference in specific weight by taking it in your hand.
Thank you.
Amena


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