Information on the Forgery of British Hallmarks

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Information on the Forgery of British Hallmarks

Postby dognose » Fri Apr 11, 2014 6:11 am

Information on the Forgery of British Hallmarks

A topic for adding the details of any past known information regarding the forgery of British hallmarks.

Genuine Image Forgery

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Re: Information on the Forgery of British Hallmarks

Postby dognose » Fri Apr 11, 2014 6:23 am

ALBERT EDWARD DULAY (DOOLEY) (aka ASHFORD)

Birmingham

At Birmingham Assizes yesterday, Albert Edward Dulay, jeweller, convicted of transposing the Birmingham assay mark to inferior metal, was sentenced to eighteen months imprisonment. Accused was brought from Philadelphia on an extradition warrant after a long chase through the States.

Source: The Glasgow Herald - 18th December 1895


A verdict for one farthing damages, without costs, was returned by a Birmingham Assize jury on Saturday in a libel action brought by Albert Edward Dooley, a jeweller, of Hockley Hill. against the "Midland Express." Defendants, referring to certain assay frauds in March last, mentioned as a suspicious circumstance that the case was not altogether free from an association with the man Dooley who was sentenced some years ago for hall mark frauds. Dooley admitted previous convictions, and that he had latterly been trading in the name of Ashford to conceal his identity.

Source: Evening Express and Evening Mail - 4th August 1902

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Re: Information on the Forgery of British Hallmarks

Postby dognose » Sat Apr 12, 2014 8:38 am

MARK BEIRMAN

Hackney Road, Shoreditch


FORGED GOLD HALL-MARKS

An unusual prosecution came before Judge Atherley Jones at the Old Bailey, London, yesterday, when Mark Beirman (22), watchmaker, was indicted for being in unlawful possession of dies for marking gold and silver wares, uttering forged dies, and having in his custody and possession certain ware of base metal bearing the impression of a forged die. Mr Norman Birkett, prosecuting for the Birmingham Assay Office, said the forged dies bore the "anchor," "crown," "18," and "9." The authority to use those marks was vested by statute in the Company of the Guardians of the Standard of Wrought Plate in Birmingham, which might shortly be termed the Birmingham Assay Office. It was founded in 1773 and was incorporated by Act of Parliament. Detective Gillard described a visit he paid to a shop in Hackney Road, Shoreditch, and finding the prisoner engaged in stamping the die on a pair of cuff-links. Prisoner admitted he was stamping rolled gold articles to make them appear more valuable. He was found guilty and sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment in the second division.


Source: The Glasgow Herald - 14th February 1922

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Re: Information on the Forgery of British Hallmarks

Postby dognose » Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:55 am

JOHN BROWN

Liverpool

In 1829, John Brown of Liverpool who was prosecuted at Lancaster Assizes for counterfeiting the lion passant mark on wedding rings, was convicted and sentenced to fourteen years' transportation.

Source: Hallmark - A History of the London Assay Office - J.S. Forbes - 1998

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Re: Information on the Forgery of British Hallmarks

Postby dognose » Tue Apr 15, 2014 7:36 am

JEREMIAH GARFIELD

London

A reproduction of an article that I wrote for 'The Finial' a few years ago:


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Just a very ordinary pair of fiddle pattern tablespoons with hallmarks for London 1819, but these are no ordinary pair. They are the conclusion of a hunt for such an example that I have been on for several years.

The spoons are the work of Jeremiah Garfield (Grimwade 1817), a silversmith that I became interested about some years ago, but to find an example of his work was to prove a difficult one and at times, seemingly impossible. Occasionally a piece would appear on an online auction together with a poor photograph of a hallmark with a maker's mark 'JG', but without exception they proved to be worn examples of the remains of a Joseph Goss mark from Exeter, but the task was stuck too, and eventually this particular elusive fish was finally landed and they were everything that I hoped they would be...Fakes!

Jeremiah, or Jeremy as he was known, Garfield was born c.1780, the son of Thomas Garfield a butter factor late of Clerkenwell in the County of Middlesex, he served his apprenticeship under John Hudson (Heal p.179) of 35 St John's Square, Clerkenwell as from the 7th August 1793. Garfield was granted his Freedom from the London Company on the 7th October 1800 and entered his first mark as a plateworker of 25, Bridgewater Gardens, Cripplegate on the 9th August 1813, this was followed by a move to 4, Badger Road, Red Lion Street and a second mark undated in the Company's books. A third mark and a move to 1, Vineyard Gardens, Clerkenwell occurred on 25th September 1820 and a final move, according to Grimwade, was to 17, Little Knightrider Street, Doctors' Commons. The last address however, would not have been that of Garfield's workshop, but that of his lawyers. Doctors' Commons was the home of the Court of Civilians where lawyers practised civil law in London.

On the 12th September 1821 Jeremy Garfield appeared at London's Central Criminal Court, The Old Bailey, before Mr Baron Graham. He was 'indicted for feloniously exposing to sale certain twelve silver spoons, with a counterfeit mark thereon, resembling the mark used by the Goldsmith's Company, knowing it to be counterfeit, with intent to defraud'. Added to this was a second charge of 'was again indicted for feloniously forging and counterfeiting a stamp or mark on certain articles of plate, with intent to defraud our Lord the King' with a second count of 'for uttering and publishing the same, as true, with the like intent'.

Garfield pleaded guilty to the first offence and no evidence was offered on the other charges and consequently he was found not guilty of them. He was sentenced to fourteen years transportation, later reduced to seven years.

It was after reading the report of the Old Bailey trial that I became really interested in Jeremy Garfield. What happened to him? Was he ever to produce work in silver again? Did he rise like a phoenix from the ashes and go on to great things? I started to dig a little and piece by piece I came across a story of a rather strange individual who appears to have led an unhappy existence and his story links together with some names of better known silversmiths.

Jeremy Garfield arrived in New South Wales aboard the convict ship 'Eliza' on the 22nd November 1822. A skilled tradesman and described as a working silversmith in the convict details, he became immediately available to work as an assigned convict, and just four days later, on the 26th November 1822, Garfield was selected for employment by the silversmith and former convict Jacob Josephson.

Josephson was a Prussian born Jew who trained as a silversmith in Hamburg, an extremely complex character, he arrived in England in c.1805 and following a crime spree was convicted and sentenced to fourteen years at Oxford Quarter Sessions in 1817 and transported to New South Wales arriving on the convict ship 'Neptune' in 1818. By proving that he had sufficient assets at his disposal he was freed and opened his business at 3, Pitt Street, Sydney later that year and it was in this establishment that Josephson thought he could use Garfield's skills.

This was not Josephson's first venture into the acquirement of assigned convict labour. Some time earlier he procured the skills of the ageing former Dublin bucklemaker Walter Harley. Harley who registered with the Dublin Company in 1784 from an address of 15, Coles Alley, Castle Street, and whom Jackson has mention of in page 699 was a serial offender back in Dublin and was transported in October 1814 and after a ten month voyage, as the convict ship 'Francis and Eliza' had been detained by an American privateer off the coast of Maderia, the then 57 year old arrived in Sydney in August 1815. He was originally assigned to the former Dublin goldsmith John Austin but re-assigned to Josephson perhaps because of Austin's retirement or demise. Walter Harley was granted a conditional pardon in early 1820 and left the employment of Josephson to set up on his own account later that same year in Castlereagh Street, Sydney. This partial freedom however was not to last long as he died in May 1822.

Jacob Josephson must have thought that he had landed on his feet when he discovered that the latest convict intake to arrive at Sydney contained a 'working silversmith' surely an ideal replacement for the departed Walter Harley, he was however to be very disappointed in his new acquisition.

On the 5th November 1823 Jeremy Garfield sent a petition to the then Governor of New South Wales Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane. This document reads as follows:

“The Humble Petition of Jeremy Garfield, a Prisoner Under Sentence of Transportation for Seven Years.

Most humbly sheweth that your petitioner was convicted in Sept. 1821 for selling twelve silver teaspoons with a counterfeit duty mark on them and was brought to this Colony on Nov. 22nd 1822 in the ship Eliza Capt. Hunt and was consigned to Mr. Josephson of Pitt Street, Sydney in whose service he is at this present time.

Your petitioner begs leave to state he was consigned to Mr. Josephson as a working silversmith being described as such in the description list of the prisoners. Your petitioner begs leave to say he served a regular apprenticeship in London to silver tea tray making but for the last nine years have not followed that trade having been fully employed as collector and messenger to two public charitys the Bloomsbury Dispensary and the Lying in Charity with a character down to this unfortunate affair as was born testimony to by the Honble Lady Booth of Cotterstock Hall Northamptonshire in a letter addressed to your Excellency which was presented by Surgeon Rae at the time the prisoners was inspected in the Gaol Yard at Sydney.

Your petitioner begs leave humbly to say he feels conscious he has no claim whatever for any indulgence more than another prisoner, but feels confident that his case will meet with every consideration that your Excellencys impartial justice and well known humanity can possibly bestow. Your petitioner begs leave to state that from the time of his being consigned to Mr. Josephson Nov. 26th 1822 being the day he landed in this Colony he has been obligated to pay three shillings and sixpence per week as a tradesman agreeable to the established laws of the Colony which obliges every man working at his trade or calling, so to do. Your petitioner begs leave to state that as a working silversmith he is not capable of following that employ as working silver generally and silver tea tray making is totally different in their nature and operation and as your petitioner was brought up a silver tea tray maker and not a working silversmith it is impossible for him to earn one penny during the time he must remain in this Colony.

Your petitioner begs leave to state it is utterly impossible to make a silver tea tray in this Colony, for this reason, there must be a sheet or plate of silver flatted out by flatting mills in the same manner as sheet copper is flatted out in England and while there is no flatting mills in this Colony, it is impossible to make a silver tea tray consequently it is impossible for your petitioner ever to earn one farthing in this Colony at his trade as he is a silver tea tray maker, and not a general working silversmith.

Your petitioner therefore most humbly hopes your Excellency will condescend, so far as to take his case into consideration, and under all its circumstances, and the situation which he is in and must continue namely as house servant during the period he must remain in this Colony except your Excellency should think proper to order any alteration relative to your petitioners situation. Your petitioner humbly trusts your Excellency will be pleased to order that the sum of three shillings and sixpence per week shall not be demanded from him as it is impossible for your petitioner as a tradesman or working mechanick to earn one penny in this Colony.

Should your petitioner be so fortunate to meet your Excellency approbation so far as to grant the request now humbly solicited it shall be his chief study by his conduct on all occasions to prove himself not unworthy the favour conferred
and your petitioner will as in
duty bound ever pray etc.
Jeremy Garfield servant to
Mr. Josephson No.3 Pitt Street, Sydney. Nov. 5th 1823.”

It would appear that Garfield's pleas fell upon deaf ears and in his ever increasing frustration on the 23rd December 1823 he wrote again to Governor Brisbane:

“I venture to say my case is singularly severe. As a tradesman it is impossible for me to earn one penny during the time I must remain in this Colony. I certainly was brought up a silver tea tray maker and that only it is utterly impossible that a silver tea tray can be made in this Colony that I can prove beyond all doubt.

I am and have been employed as a cook and house servant to Mr. Josephson and have been in that capacity and no other ever since I came to this Colony. Mr. Josephson can prove if called upon that I have not made nor attempted any kind of work whatever but have been constantly employed as a house servant.

In consequence of being obliged to pay the sum of three shillings and sixpence weekly which I do pay out of ten pounds per year that leaves me not in possession of fourpence farthing per week for clothes, washing and other necessaries. This renders my case extremely severe....”

What is to be made of the information that Garfield has supplied? Certainly it does not appear to be the whole truth. His statement that he had not worked in the trade for nine years was blatantly untrue as during that period he had entered marks on three occasions and did he really serve a seven year apprenticeship and only learnt to make one product and not attempt to turn his hand to anything else? Jeremy Garfield was a strange man and there is more evidence to confirm that.

Jeremy Garfield's net income, in his own words, was fourpence farthing a week, he either couldn't or more likely wouldn't earn any more and was in dire circumstances, but research into his finances reveal that all through this period he had funds deposited in no less than the greatest financial institution in the world, the Bank Of England. On the 10th October 1821, less than a month after his Old Bailey trial, Garfield's lawyers deposited an unknown amount into a 'Consolidated Long Annuities' fund. This no doubt was result of the sale of his assets following the trial, they gave his address as Little Knight Rider Street, Doctors Commons and his occupation as 'Gentleman'. Garfield chose not to take the money with him to Australia nor to arrange for it to be sent on, although both arrangements could have been made even at this time. Convicts were encouraged to have savings accounts and allowed to use the funds to 'purchase a more comfortable life during their period of servitude'. This deposit, presumably a substantial amount as it was still being advertised in unclaimed money publications at least sixty years later, appears to have never been touched and information about it never passed on to Garfield's family, who we will learn a little about later.

Garfield was granted his Certificate of Freedom on the 27th November 1828, he left the employment of Josephson and enrolled as a policeman at Bathurst. Thankfully this change of career brings to light further details of our object of interest for Garfield's evidence as an expert witness was presented to the court in the trial of the Scottish born silversmith Alexander Dick. Dick, who had started his apprenticeship in Edinburgh under James Mackay II and was then turned over to Charles Dalgleish in 1818 were he joined another dubious apprentice John Sutter. Dick arrived at the Colony, of his own free will, on the 16th October 1824, but was now indicted on the 26th May 1829 on a charge of receiving twelve dessert spoons, previously stolen from the residence of the then Colonial secretary, Alexander McLeay.

Garfield as a policeman and former silversmith was earlier asked to examine the spoons that were by now considerably altered, and give an opinion as to whether they were colonially made. In a letter to the court, dated 2nd March 1829, Garfield stated the following:

“Agreeable to your instructions I have examined the silver dessert spoons said to be the property of the Honble Col. Secretary. Upon the examination of Dick at the police office who is now committed for trial, two persons were examined on behalf of the defence — namely Mr. Robertson of George Street who keeps a watchmakers shop and Mr. Clayton of Pitt Street who keeps a silversmiths and jewellers shop each and both of them did not agree or prove in their depositions if the spoons were made of English manufactured silver or colonial. If I have not been wrongly informed neither of them ever manufactured silver plate. They are in fact dealers and not makers.

I beg leave to state I have not the least shadow of doubt but that the dessert spoons are manufactured of English standard silver — that they had and still retain the marks and impression of the Goldsmith Hall Duty Marks which marks have in part been defaced but not completely obliterated upon a strict examination with a magnifying glass it will be seen most clearly that the English Duty Mark or at least part of it remains although in part defaced by another mark being struck upon the original stamps.

The spoons when in England were finished by polishing but since that they have gone through a process with fire after which they have been in a pickle and have been softened and burnished. They have had some ornament on the front of the handles which has been removed by filing or scraping (or both) before they went through the process with fires — they have also been spread wider in the handles by hammering that has rendered them much thinner than when they were first finished.

I feel no hesitation in saying the spoons are English standard silver and are not colonial made. Colonial silver is Dollar silver and is far inferior to the standard of English plate.

Some of the spoons bear the remains of an impression also of 'RP' that is the maker's mark and denotes that Richard Pearce was the original maker of the spoons in London — he no doubt sold them to a shop keeper in London from whom the Colonial Secretary purchased them.

I am sure you will believe I can speak with confidence when I say I had 25 years experience in melting, preparing and making silver plate of all description in London and must with shame add I was sent to this colony for seven years for defrauding the Government in the Revenue Duty on plate by preparing forged counterfeit marks similar to the stamps used by the Goldsmiths Company in London and marking silver plate with same.”

Here we have a very different picture painted by Jeremy Garfield, this time much more likely to be the truth, and one can only wonder why he stated the things he said in the petitions to Governor Brisbane and what was behind his strange behaviour.

The next we hear of Jeremy Garfield is of an incident that occurred late at night on the 14th July 1832 and reported in the Sydney Gazette of the 1st November 1832. Garfield, who had risen to the rank of Conductor in the police force was called to fight between some Irish families and accompanied by two constables, the trio attempted to restore order. The watching mob then turned on the police and inflicted such a terrible beating that Garfield was left for dead. Indeed it was only after a considerable stay in hospital, with his life hanging by a thread, that he finally pulled through. Due to the skills of a certain Dr. Mitchell his sight was saved, for it was long thought that the assault would have left him blinded.

Apparently this was the last straw for Garfield, as an advertisement from the Colonial Secretary's Office that appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald dated 2nd April 1833 gives notice that Jeremy Garfield resigned his position as Conductor as from the 9th March 1833. He presumably never recovered sufficiently from his injuries to return to his duties.

Some time later Garfield became a publican and took over the licence of the Albion Inn Wine Vaults in Paramatta Street, Sydney. There is a report in the Sydney Gazette of the 21st April 1836 of the theft of a gallon of rum from him. He stayed on at the Albion until April 1839 when the Sydney Herald reports that Garfield had transferred the Licence to one Francis O'Meara.

Jeremy Garfield appears in the 1841 Sydney Census as living at Elizabeth Street, Alexandria, Cumberland, Sydney. He had a wife, Elizabeth, a son, William who later moved to Brighton, Melbourne, and at least two daughters, the second of whom's name was Anne who died in Old Street Road, London on the 1st February 1854.

Jeremy Garfield died at home in Elizabeth Street on the 15th August 1842. He was aged 62 years. The price paid for counterfeiting the marks on a few spoons was a heavy one, resulting in years of torment and unhappiness.



The forged marks:


ImageImage


ImageImage

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Re: Information on the Forgery of British Hallmarks

Postby dognose » Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:19 am

JEREMIAH GARFIELD

London

Follow up article reproduced from 'The Finial':

Following my article that appeared in the last edition of The Finial, I can now add some additional notes relating to the arrest of Jeremiah Garfield.

Prior to the Old Bailey trial of Garfield there was held at the Mansion House a Public Examination of the accused, and the newspaper reports at the time offer some interesting details that were not revealed at the Old Bailey trial. It appears that a firm by the name of Smith & Co. of Ostend in Belgium issued an order to the London silversmiths Leven & Jacobs of which part of the order was for silver spoons. Leven & Jacobs in turn passed out the order to the firm of manufacturing silversmiths; Levi & Co. of Bury Street, St. Mary Axe, London, and it was they who employed Jeremy Garfield to manufacture the spoons to fulfil the order, with Levi & Co. supplying the silver and Garfield responsible for the fashioning and the payment of Duty. At the Examination, Alexander Levi of Levi & Co. stated that he had employed Garfield to make spoons for them for several years.

Following the completion of the order, the goods were packed and dispatched to the Custom House, and it was at this point that the fraud was revealed. A customs searcher, named G.W. Tucker, inspected the spoons, presumably as part of the Duty Drawback procedure, and became suspicious of the hallmarks, and contacted Goldsmiths' Hall. The spoons, struck with the maker's mark 'JG', were inspected by George Miles from the Assay Office who confirmed Tucker's suspicions that the marks were indeed counterfeit. Further weight was added to the accusation when a check of Garfield's submissions to the London Assay Office for the past year revealed a total of 41 ounces and 14 pennyweights as against the spoons seized which amounted to a weight of about 140 ounces.

Another person who gave evidence at the Public Examination was a journeyman employed by Garfield, Frances Cook. Cook stated that at various times during his Master's absence he had often opened the door to strangers and asked their business, to which he was given the reply “If your Master now wants a dozen or two of spoons, I can let him have them”, upon Garfield's return, when Cook relayed the message, Cook stated the Garfield would become impatient and said “What business is it of yours” or something to same effect.

Some days later a further Public Examination of Jeremiah Garfield was held, but no further evidence was offered and Garfield was committed for trial at the Old Bailey. I can only assume that Garfield was unaware that his spoons were destined for export as surely he would have been aware that his genuine assays would not have added up to anywhere near what would have been claimed by the attempted Duty Drawback



Following the publication of the articles I was fortunate to be contacted by the 4th great granddaughter of Jeremiah Garfield who had been researching her family for 35 years. Jeremy did in fact die a wealthy man, in possession of a large property portfolio.


Another example of Jeremiah Garfield's mark, this time accompanied by genuine hallmarks of London 1816:

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Re: Information on the Forgery of British Hallmarks

Postby dognose » Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:25 am

THOMAS READE (READ)

Wapping

LAW INTELLIGENCE

Tuesday Morning

THOMAS READE, a silversmith in Wapping, was tried upon the statute of 13 George 3. c. 26, for forging the Goldsmiths' Hall mark of a Lion Rampant, upon three silver buckles, which on conviction, subjects the offender to the severe punishment of transportation for 14 years. But the prosecution appeared to be the effect of a wicked and diabolical conspiracy, framed by two of his apprentices, in conjunction with one of his customers, who had imposed upon the Goldsmiths' Company by the plausibility of their story, and had thereby induced them to undertake the prosecution.

When the evidence on the part of the prosecution was closed, and Mr. Garrow for the defendant, was proceeding to state the innocence of his client, and the guilt of his accusers, the Court interposed, and submitted to the Agent of the Company, whether he ought to proceed in the prosecution.

The Agent very candidly acknowledged, that the innocence of the Defendant was very apparent; and the Jury declaring themselves to be of the same opinion. Mr. Reade was immediately, and very honourably Acquitted.


Source: Oracle Bell's New World - 29th October 1789

The above report surely relates to Thomas Read (Grimwade p.638). See: viewtopic.php?f=74&t=23574&p=55658&hilit=638#p55658 which also includes a prequel to this trial.

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Re: Information on the Forgery of British Hallmarks

Postby dognose » Wed Apr 23, 2014 5:15 am

HENRY DAY

London


A reproduction of an article that I wrote for 'The Finial' a few years ago:


An Example of the Counterfeiters' Art — The Work of Henry Day

I have long been interested in the Georgian silversmiths who applied counterfeit marks to silver spoons. The gains made by forgery always seemed small to me, as against the outcome of exposure of such crimes which was the hangman's noose. One such silversmith who gambled with his life was Henry Day who was tried at the Old Bailey on the 23rd October 1822 on a charge of fifteen counts of Forgery.

Henry Day (Grimwade 981, 986) was apprenticed to the spoonmaker John Kerchner in 1809 and after completion of his term he spent a short period working for his father, the spoonmaker George Day, Henry then took control of the business and George stayed on to assist him. Henry Day entered his first mark at Goldsmiths' Hall, from his father's address, as a goldworker and spoonmaker on the 18th July 1817. This was followed by a second mark on the 11th March 1819; a third on the 26th April 1821; and finally, a fourth and fifth, in partnership with his younger brother, Charles, a former apprentice of the spoonmaker, George Smith, on the 28th July and 6th August 1821.

On the 26th September 1822 a team from Goldsmiths' Hall led by George Miles, who was later to become the Senior Assayer at Goldsmiths' Hall, raided Henry Day's workshops at Wilderness Row, Goswell Street. Earlier they had gathered up a variety of Henry Day's work from his various customers and this event was followed by the trial, on the 23rd October at the Old Bailey, the prosecution being made by the Commissioners of Stamps.

The prosecution produced George Miles (then Inspector of Stamps at Goldsmiths' Hall), John Smith (the Company's Engraver and maker of the stamps) and some of Henry Day's customers, including the retail silversmiths John Jones of the Strand and David Jones of Broad Street.

Henry Day's Defence called upon his brother Charles Day (Grimwade 296a, 986) and the spoonmaker William Cartiledge (Grimwade 3067-8), and fifteen others who paid testimony to his good character. However, it was to no avail; the evidence was damning. The case against Henry Day was proved and following the summing up by the judge, the jury returned a verdict of guilty but with a recommendation of mercy due to his previous good character.

On the 31st October 1822, Henry Day was sentenced to death, but the following month, on the 22nd November, he was reprieved and the sentence was respited to detention at 'His Majesty's Pleasure'.

There were many period reports of this trial but one in particular and published later than others is worthy of note. The Oxford Journal of the 7th December 1822, repeating an entry from an unnamed newspaper, stated:
'Great interest was made to save the life of Henry Day, one of the individuals under sentence of death, lately reported in Council to his Majesty by the Recorder in London. The offence has generally and erroneously stated in the public prints to be the forging the hallmark of Goldsmiths' Hall, whereas the fact is, he was never charged with, much less arraigned for, that crime, but for uttering articles of silver plate with forged marks upon them, knowing the same to be counterfeit. Mr. Day met every possible attention from the prosecutors, and he would have the first victim, had the sentence of the law been enforced, they listened with laudable humanity to every argument and representation made on his behalf. It is proper to observe, however, that this offence is becoming so frequent that the public as well as the revenue, are likely to be seriously injured...We have heard that one of the assayers of Goldsmiths' Hall put a period to his existence, rather than become an evidence against the above offender.'

The detail of the charge brought against Day, if correct, explains why the prosecution was carried out by the Commissioners of Stamps, rather than the Goldsmiths' Company as the charge relates to loss of revenue to the Crown, rather than to the Company, but what was meant by the last comment in the report, I am unsure...

On the 13th December 1826 the Morning Chronicle reported a list of sentences ordered by the Recorder of London. Amongst those sent for transportation for a period of seven years was one Henry Day, there was no further detail included so as to whether this is the same man is unknown to me, but this would indeed have been the likely outcome of his final sentence.

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As someone who is interested in the activities of these forgers I have always paid close attention when viewing examples of the work of those known culprits, of whom there are several, and I recently acquired a set of five dessert spoons by Henry Day, complete with a set of marks that appear genuine, but upon very close inspection are indeed counterfeit.

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Comparison of the marks
Generally the marks are very good and I am quite sure if you were not aware of Day's reputation they would pass inspection to all but the keenest eye in the early 1820s. On the left are genuine 1820 marks found on a dessert spoon, on the right are marks found on a dessert spoon by Henry Day.

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The most noticeable difference between the marks is the dateletter, Day's dateletter mark is poorly formed when compared with John Smith's work, the cross bar on the 'e' is noticeably higher and rises slightly on the left hand side giving the appearance of making the entire letter being slightly rotated clockwise. It is the same on all five examples.

The Duty mark is more difficult to judge, on all five examples it is worn. Or maybe there was a lack of detail in the first place. There is a small chip to the base of the punch and the effect on the mark can be seen on all five pieces.

The Lion Passant. The lion itself is is just a fraction off centre to the cartouche, the tail does not fatten out at the end, the legs are thinner and the right paw not raised as far as in John Smith's example.

The Leopard's Head is perhaps the best in quality of the four punches, the crown is a little different, and the face lacking in shape with the ears being somewhat larger.

The marks appear to have been struck separately and not with the use of the stub, but the stamper has taken great care to be accurate with the spacing of the marks and only very close inspection reveals slight differences between the spacing of the marks on the five pieces.

Henry Day paid a high price for what was probably small gains. If he survived his prison ordeal (and his possible transportation) is unknown to me, but if he did survive I would dearly love to know what happened to him.


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Re: Information on the Forgery of British Hallmarks

Postby dognose » Fri Apr 25, 2014 7:28 am

HENRY DAY

London


Follow up article reproduced from 'The Finial':

An Example of the Counterfeiters' Art — The Work of Henry Day — Additional Information

Further to my article in the last edition of 'The Finial' I have come across two more examples of Henry Day's forgeries. The new examples, a pair of fiddle pattern dessert spoons, were made perhaps very slightly earlier than the five Old English pattern dessert spoons written about earlier.

This pair are part of a set of three, the other bearing the maker's mark of John Hayne (Grimwade 1818), but whereas the Hayne spoon bears legitimate London hallmarks for 1820 the Day spoons bear the same counterfeit marks as found on the Old English forgeries. The one difference in the marks found on this pair is that of the maker's marks, in this case they are consistent with the evidence presented at the Old Bailey trial.

On the 29th October 1822, The Morning Post reported details of the trial, part of that report was the evidence of George Miles, who stated as follows: ...”I was present in the month of September at the prisoner's premises, when they were searched, and found a punch with the initials 'HD' thereon.- (Witness was then shown the four gravy spoons, mentioned in the indictment.) - The initials upon them are so indistinct, that had they were sent to Goldsmiths' Hall, in order to be stamped, they would certainly have been rejected. On comparing the punch, which I produce, with the initials upon the gravy spoons, I find that they correspond, except that the letters are stamped on them in an inverse order. The marks upon the spoons produced are all forged. The initials of the prisoner 'HD' on them are so very indistinct that they would not have passed the Hall. By the initials being struck in an inverse order it is more difficult to discover the real initial...”

Image

As can be see from the photos, on one spoon the 'HD' mark has been struck, then reversed and struck again and on the other the a similar action has been applied but angling the punch so that the 'H' part only makes an impression.

Image

As stated, the counterfeit marks are from the same punches that were used on the Old English examples, but the noted damage to the base of the Duty mark is not as severe, but still visible, an indication, no doubt, that these pair of fiddle spoons were marked earlier than the Old English spoons, bearing that in mind, and the fact that the slightly later Old English spoons were clearly marked 'HD', it would appear that Henry Day's confidence had grown enough that he no longer tried to hide his identity and believed that he could escape detection.

I have now noted seven pieces of Henry Day's forged work and I am starting to think he was perhaps more prolific than originally feared.


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Re: Information on the Forgery of British Hallmarks

Postby dognose » Sat Apr 26, 2014 5:19 am

HENRY DAY

London

Two examples of genuine hallmarks applied to the work of Henry Day:

Image
H·D - London - 1820

Image
H·D - London - 1821

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Re: Information on the Forgery of British Hallmarks

Postby dognose » Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:17 am

FORGED HALLMARKS

FORGED HALLMARKS

With a view to put a stop to the largely increased manufacture of "antique" plates bearing forged hall-marks of ancient dates, principally of the date of Queen Anne, the Goldsmiths' Company offer a reward of £100 to any one who will divulge the name of the forger. To such a extent is this fraud practised that, only lately, 647 pieces bearing forged marks were found in the possession of a collector who had purchased a service of so-called "Queen Anne" plate, at an enormous price, as genuine.


Source: The Star - 19th June 1880

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Re: Information on the Forgery of British Hallmarks

Postby dognose » Fri May 02, 2014 10:08 am

HENRY TONGUE

37, Hunter's Vale, Hockley, Birmingham

ASSAY PROSECUTION IN BIRMINGHAM

At the Birmingham Police Court, yesterday, Henry Tongue, trading as A.H. Tongue, at 37, Hunter's vale, Hockley, was summoned for marking pipe mounts with a counterfeit die, in imitation of one used by the Guardians of the Standard of Wrought Plate in Sheffield, and for having in his possession mounts thus feloniously marked. - Mr. Alfred Young, for the prosecution, explained that the law required that persons desiring to have either gold or silverware assayed should first register their punch or initials. Messrs. Dreyfus and Co., importer of tobacconists' goods, of London, forwarded to the defendant a dozen assorted pipes, with a request for a quotation for mounting them in plain silver. Messrs. Dreyfus had their mark registered. Defendant wrote offering to mount and hall mark the pipes as desired at 23s per gross, and put upon them his own mark "H.M." which was, he said, almost as good, at 20s per gross. Messrs. Dreyfus gave an order for 48 gross at the lower price. Afterwards they wrote that they would not have accepted the offer had they known the insufficiency of the mark. The matter was ultimately brought to the notice of the authorities, when the defendant said he had received the permission of the Assay Office for what he had done - a statement as astonishing as unfounded. Mr. Young added that he had understood defendant had mounted pipes in this way to the value of £1,000 a year. - When evidence was about to be called for, Mr. Hugo Young (for the defendant) interposed with an admission that his client had done wrong, but innocently, and was prepared to undertake not to continue the practice. - After some discussion, the magistrates, who thought it was a very proper matter to have brought forward, assented to the withdrawal of the case.

Source: The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent - 6th July 1895

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Re: Information on the Forgery of British Hallmarks

Postby dognose » Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:04 am

Quite an excitement has recently been caused in London by the discovery of large amounts of " forged " silver plate. This plate purports to be genuine silver ware of the time of Queen Anne, and consists mainly of spoons and forks. Queen Anne silver and bric-a-brac is much sought for by collectors of antiques, and hence, it is stated, "tons " of bogus Queen Anne silver ware has been disposed of. Recently a banker sent 650 pieces to Goldsmith's Hall, every one of which was pronounced to be "forged." The goods have been impounded by the Association, which is seeking to recover £6,500 in fines from a well known silversmith. This gentleman, however, appears to have been innocent of the forgery, having simply sold the goods. Silver forks were not used in Queen Anne's time, but the forgers have used the handles of genuine spoons as a model to make their forks from. It is singular that such quantities of these forks should have been sold under the circumstances. The daily and weekly press is very severe on the silversmiths, and intimations are made that hitherto reputable dealers have been implicated in the matter.

Source: The Trader and Canadian Jeweller - June 1880

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Re: Information on the Forgery of British Hallmarks

Postby dognose » Thu Jul 31, 2014 4:42 am

The law is often more tortuous than its framers wish, as the Goldsmiths' Company of London have found to their cost. They proceeded under an ancient charter against a shopkeeper named Curry, a dealer in plate in Oxford street for the recovery of $35,000 penalties for uttering counterfeit hall marks upon 650 articles which he sold. Whatever may be the bloated wealth with which their enemies charge these fine old London guilds, no one has ever impeached their sterling integrity in commercial transactions, and it is obviously for the welfare of the public that the guarantee of genuine gold and silver should be under their stamp. The successful plea of the defendant was not a denial, but was based upon the statute of limitations.

Source: The Trader and Canadian Jeweller - January 1881

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Re: Information on the Forgery of British Hallmarks

Postby dognose » Sat Sep 20, 2014 10:53 am

ROBERT WILLIS

Castle Street East, Oxford Street, London


FRAUDULENT HALL-MARKS - At Marlborough Street, Robert Willis, 27, of Castle Street East, Oxford Street, described as a clerk, was charged on remand with attempting to obtain the sum of £14 as a loan on a spuriously hall-marked watch, with intent to defraud Messrs. Hawes and Son, pawnbrokers, of Cranbourne Street. The evidence was that on the 15th ult. the prisoner went into Messrs. Hawes and asked for a loan of £14 on the watch produced. As it was perceived that the watch was not a gold one, but only gilt, the accused was given into custody. Moreover, the name that was on it, "Upjohn and Bright," of King William Street, Strand, was proved to be a forgery. For the defence, the prisoner said he was not aware that the watch was silver, and that he received it as security for a debt which a man owed him in connection with a betting transaction. On the remand, Mr. Keith Frith appeared for the prisoner, and Mr. Mead, on behalf of the Goldsmiths' Company, prosecuted. Mr. Henry James Adams, of the Assay Office of the Goldsmiths' Company, deposed that the marks on the watch were not those of the Goldsmiths' Company, and it was stated that on a previous occasion Messrs. Hawes had taken in pledge a watch similar to the one involved in the present charge. Mr. Newton again remanded the prisoner, and, it having been mentioned that he was the companion of a well-known convict, refused to allow bail.

Source: The Jeweller and Metalworker - 15th September 1885

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Re: Information on the Forgery of British Hallmarks

Postby dognose » Sun Jan 11, 2015 7:40 am

THOMAS MOXON

Birmingham


Thomas Moxon, a jeweller, has been sentenced at the Birmingham Assizes to five years’ penal servitude for forging the Birmingham hall-mark. A gem ring which appeared to bear the hall-mark was pledged as long ago as April, 1885, and the spurious nature of the stamp was not discovered till the ring was sold by auction, in due course, after the lapse of a twelvemonth from the time of pledging. On the prisoner’s premises being searched, a large number of rings with counterfeit hall-marks were discovered. Without saying that the punishment is too severe in this instance, it does seem strange that electro-plate stamped to closely resemble hall-marked silver, jewellery with “ 18 c. ” impressed on it, and other aids to deception should be allowed to go unchallenged. Such licence probably induces many an ignorant man to think he may with safety cross the line dividing allowable imitations from forged marks.

Source: The Horological Journal - September 1886

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Re: Information on the Forgery of British Hallmarks

Postby dognose » Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:39 am

ROBERT SCANLAN

Preston


SPURIOUS JEWELLERY

At Preton on Friday Robert Scanlan, jeweller, was charged with forging the hall mark of the Birmingham Assay Office. It was alleged that he had passed off as nine-carat gold a number of fraudulently marked base metal chains, which were not worth more than two shillings each. Evidence was called to show that, prisoner had acted in guilty knowledge. It was intimated that evidence exists which will prove that prisoner had the chains re-gilded. The case was adjourned.


Source: Western Mail - 24th January 1891



At the Lancaster Assizes, before Mr. Justice Day, Robert Scanlan (42), jeweller and watchmaker, Orchard-street, Preston, was indicted for having in his possession at Preston, on January 30th, 1889, an albert chain of base metal, and stamped with a 9-carat gold hall-mark stamp provided or used by the Company of Guardians of the Standard Wrought Plate, of Birmingham. There was also another similar charge, and one of feloniously uttering chains, knowing them to be forged and counterfeit. Mr. A. Young and Mr. Shee conducted the prosecution, and Mr. McKeand represented the prisoner. Prisoner, on the advice of his counsel, pleaded guilty. Mr. McKeand said that after reading through the depositions he had taken upon himself to advise his client to take the course he had done, and asked that he might he allowed to call two or three witnesses on his behalf. In that matter it was most melancholy that a man, who so far had been tin honest man, should have got into difficulties. His Lordship asked what he was. Mr. McKeand replied that he was a jeweller in Preston, and was a respectable man, and he did not think that his friend would attempt to disprove what he was about to say. As the prisoner explained to him, he had unfortunately got into his possession these counterfeit articles, and finding that, he had given way to the temptation to defraud others. That was open to the observation that it seemed a very serious thing that there should he in the possession of the prisoner so many spurious articles. He was instructed, however, that a large number of these articles were being circulated about the country. Of course it was essential in the interests of justice that Scanlan should receive fit and proper punishment for his crime. His Lordship asked Mr. McKeand if he was in a position to indicate the names of the other persons. Mr. McKeand said he was not. Mr. Justice Day said it might be as well for him to give all the information he could to the prosecutor if he sought to mitigate the punishment. Mr. McKeand afterwards held a consultation with the prisoner. His Lordship passed a sentence of five years' penal servitude.

Source: The Watchmaker, Jeweller and Silversmith - 2nd March 1891

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Re: Information on the Forgery of British Hallmarks

Postby dognose » Thu Mar 26, 2015 6:42 am

Not a case of the forgery of British hallmarks, but an interesting one nevertheless:


FORGING MEXICAN DOLLARS AT SHEFFIELD

John Hamon Sutton was charged with making and counterfeiting, at Sheffield, one hundred dollars, not the proper coin of this realm, nor permitted to be current within the same, resembling and intended to resemble and look like the silver coin of Mexico. Mr. Wortley and Mr. Pickering for the prosecution. Mr. Baines for the defence.

Mr. Wortley said the prosecution was of an unusual nature, such as he had never before known in the course of his experience. The offence charged in the indictment was made felony by the 37 Geo. III. c. 126, s. 2. The peculiarity of the case was that he should not be able to shew that the prisoner made the coins with his own hand, but it would be sufficient if he shewed that he had employed others to do so. He gave a summary of the evidence he should adduce, and admitted that the papers found upon the prisoner, and his coming direct to Sheffield when he found that suspicion was excited, made in his favour. He submitted, under the correction of the Judge, that it made no difference whether the prisoner meant to circulate the coins in this country or not, if they believed that his design was any where to circulate them as coin.

The first witness was Mr. Henry Briggs, who proved that on the 10th of December, the prisoner called at his master's warehouse, and said he wanted medals making. Witness could not answer his questions as to price, &c, but requested him to call again when Mr. Briggs was in.

Mr. Briggs proved that the prisoner came to him on the 11th of December, and said he wanted some medals striking, in hard metal, that would keep its colour. He said he was agent for some company in America, and wanted them to exchange for furs. He produced this medal, with a ring, and I told him I could not tell the price till I saw the dies, which he said he would send up, and would call again. Mr. Briggs recommended plated medals, on German silver, as the best. He came in the evening with a porter, carrying the dies in a small box. (Cooper produced the dies,) which he identified as the same. Witness then offered to stamp the German silver medals at 9s. or 10s. a dozen, and the plated at 18s. He said he should want German silver chains and rings for the medals, and Mr. Briggs said he would get them cheaper in Birmingham. The prisoner's order for 2400 medals was produced, to be packed in tin boxes. Prisoner gave him ninety sovereigns on account, saying he was going over to Ireland. The next day prisoner called to see a medal which Mr. Briggs had got stamped. He saw two or three. Mr. Briggs reported that the dies would not stand for the quantity required. In answer to the application of the prisoner Mr. Briggs recommended and sent for Mr. Brown, die-sinker, who undertook to cut new dies. The prisoner said he was to sail from London on the 27th of December. Prisoner offered to pay Mr. Brown's expenses to Birmingham to fetch the blocks for the new dies immediately. In the mean time the old dies were to be used. Mr. Briggs wrote to him in a few days that the dies failed, and the prisoner called in a day or two, not having got the letter. He reduced the order to 1500, and bought some other goods to the amount of 25l. The medals were to be wrapped in single papers, and Mr. Briggs recommended him to have them bored first, but the prisoner declined. The prisoner was particular about the colour, because he said the natives sometimes rubbed them on stones. Doubt arising about the object of the medals, Mr. Briggs caused an application to be made to the Mexican consul, and informed the prisoner, by letter, of his doubts. In prisoner's reply, he enclosed a letter from a Mr. Withers, in London, the cutter of the first die, stating that he had had enquiries made at the Mint as to the correctness of making the rim otherwise than plain. There was another letter from the same, saying, "The Mint say it is all correct." The prisoner wrote with them that he had apprehended some doubts might arise, and had taken the proper precautions to be assured that all was right. After a few days the prisoner came and assured Mr. Briggs that the medals were not to be used as coin. Mr. Briggs declined to proceed with the work, and complained of the loss he had suffered. The prisoner offered him 40l. in compensation, and 5l. for the trouble he had had as to the bowie knives. The prisoner was to come again for the balance of the 90l., but was apprehended on his way to Mr. Brown's.

Cross-examined by Mr. Baines. — The prisoner said he would get the medals bored and fitted with rings and chains at Birmingham. He gave me no direction as to the sending of the medals. There was nothing secret in the transaction.

Mr. James Brown, die-sinker, Sheffield, also proved his engagement with the prisoner to make a pair of dies for a medal. Becoming suspicious of their purpose before they were finished, he refused to deliver them. He finally gave them up to Mr. Briggs, having filed them across and made them useless.

Jeremiah Dukinfield, proved that he struck the medals for his master, Mr. Briggs.

Mr. James Wild, constable, proved the receipt of the dies and medals from Mr. Briggs, and the apprehension of the prisoner. He produced a letter found upon the prisoner, purporting to be from a friend and agent of his at New Orleans, informing him that he had concluded an agreement on his own behalf, with a respectable company, that he was to go to England to purchase medals and cutlery, suited to the trade with the Indians, and would probably afterwards have to go into the interior as far as the head of the Columbia River to conduct the trade.

A gentleman connected with the Mexican Legation, proved that its title was the Republic of Mexico, and that the medals were an imitation of the Mexican dollars.

Mr. John Francis Bacon, merchant of London, and acquainted with the Mexican coinage, also proved the similarity of the medals to the coinage of Mexico.

Mr. Baines addressed the Jury for the prisoner, a foreigner, most unexpectedly to himself, involved in his present difficulties. The question was, whether he had done this with a guilty intent, that they might pass as coin. If they were merely meant to pass as trinkets among the Indians, that was not the offence contemplated by the act. He argued that the act was designed to prevent the passing of fictitious foreign coin in England. He would not rest upon the legal points of the case, but he argued on the facts that these medals were never meant to be used as coin, but only as medals. He should call a witness, because his conviction was that the more fully the Jury knew the whole of Mr. Sutton's transactions, the more they would be satisfied with his bona' fide conduct. Mr. Sutton was a Canadian by birth, and his business had been to conduct trade with the Indians of the interior of America for furs. A sovereign with them would not pass as a sovereign, but as a toy, like beads, pictures, glass, &c. The object of the prisoner in coming to England was to provide himself with the proper articles for this traffic. He should call Mr. Withers, whose letters they had heard read, and who would shew them Mr. Sutton's design for a medal with a handle to it, which design was set aside by the difficulties which Mr. Withers raised as to its execution. That being thus set aside, the prisoner wished to have the medals stamped with a hole. He granted that if these medals were given to the Indians as being worth Mexican dollars, there would be a fraud, but he argued that that was not the design. Mr. Baines then argued, from the respectable house in Sheffield to which he applied, from the openness of his transactions, from his returning to Sheffield when suspicion had arisen, and from his whole demeanor, that it was impossible to suppose the prisoner had a guilty intention. He read the letters, shewing that they were not the language of a guilty man; and after the assurance he had as to the enquiries at the Mint, how could he have the least idea of his conduct being illegal?

Mr. Thomas Henry Withers, of 17, Princes-street, Soho, London, proved the application to him by the prisoner, for a die of medals, with a handle, and his uniform profession as to the object of them.

Mr. Wortley replied, and submitted that there was utility in having them made like Mexican coin, if they were meant to pass as coin, but no particular need for it if they were merely for trinkets. He did not wish to press hard upon the prisoner, but the minute imitation of the coin would be useless for trinkets.

The learned Judge summed up. He remarked upon the bona' fide appearance of the letter found upon the prisoner as to his engagement with the Indian traders. He mentioned the well-known inclination of savage tribes for showy imitations. With us, genuine articles were more highly esteemed; but for use, the taste of the Indians might be as good as ours. His Lordship minutely summed up. He thought it was a harsh construction to say that because the man did not order the medals to be bored at Sheffield, his design was bad, after the evidence they had of the way in which he wanted them made in London. He remarked upon the man coming to Sheffield as soon as he was written to by Briggs, and regretted that, without more evidence, the prisoner should then have been apprehended. He remarked that the other purchases of the prisoner confirmed his story, and thought it did not matter whether these medals were to be perforated or to be handed about as trinkets. To convict the prisoner, they must be satisfied there was no doubt these medals were to be used as coin. He thought it made out as clearly as the circumstances of the case admitted, that that was not the intention; and if the prisoner should be acquitted, every one must feel that it was most unfortunate he should have been so long confined on this charge.

The Jury immediately found the prisoner Not Guilty, which produced a demonstration of satisfaction in the Court; and he was forthwith discharged.

In consequence of a remark from Mr. Wortley, his Lordship said the Jury would understand that he did not deem it at all a trivial thing that coins should be made in this country to defraud the natives of other countries. But they had acquitted the prisoner of that design.

Mr. Wortley said he merely desired that his Lordship should make a remark on the subject for the justification of the prosecution with the public*

* This report is taken from a recent Sheffield Paper. We leave our readers to make their own comments on the extraordinary particulars it discloses, merely observing that the object for which these spurious pieces were struck must be obvious to every one.—Ed.N. C.


Source: The Numismatic Chronicle - 1841

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Re: Information on the Forgery of British Hallmarks

Postby dognose » Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:29 am

The recent prosecution of a Birmingham jeweller for selling inferior quality of gold as 9-carat hall marked is the beginning of a campaign to be jointly carried on by the Birmingham jewellers‘ Association and the Assay Office. A notice is at present appearing in the Birmingham newspapers to the following effect:

“Birmingham Assay Office, to Jewellers. ring makers and others, notice is hereby given that it is an offence against the Assay laws to load or strengthen with solder rings or other gold or silver wares or to make any other additions thereto after they have been assayed and marked without first submitting such additions to the Assay Office. The penalty for offences against this rule is £10 per article. The Assay Office on various occasions and quite recently have enforced payment of such penalties to large amounts, and will deal with the utmost severity with all similar offences brought before them."

On behalf of the Assay Office it was pointed out by the Assay Master, Alfred Westwood, in the course of an interview that this is a fraud which the public are almost powerless to protect themselves against, which arises out of the keenness of competition in the cheaper kinds of gold and silver jewellery. The practice is often to manufacture rings hollow, which receive the hall-mark, not as rings, but upon the outer and inner strips of gold of which they are built up. An unprincipled manufacturer can beat these strips out to greater length and then when one of them is rounded to form the outer surface of the ring, solder is run into it, adding to its strength, and also to its weight. The purchaser only finds the imposture when some portion of the ring wears through, and reveals the white metal inside, or in the event of its having to be cut to alter its size. The effect of manipulation is that whereas a ring may be marked 9-carat, yet if it were melted down the assay would show perhaps only 4 or 5-carat. It is notorious that such frauds are somewhat numerous, but until the recent prosecutions neither the Assay Office nor the Jewellers' Association could secure sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction. The association is appealing to honest jewellers to join their body and assist in defeating this kind of fraud.


Source: The Metal Industry - June 1909

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Re: Information on the Forgery of British Hallmarks

Postby dognose » Tue May 19, 2015 4:46 am

WETZLER and CHAPMAN

Manchester


The Hall Mark.—A correspondent writes to us as follows :—" At the Manchester police-court, during a protracted investigation of a case in which pawnbrokers have been the victims, very interesting revelations have been made to the public as regards the manufacture of ornaments supposed to be gold. It is now beyond all doubt that large quantities of jewellery are manufactured for the sole purpose of deceiving the public. We know now that so-called 'duffing' jewellery is scattered far and wide over the land, and if we look carefully into jewellers' shop windows we find articles marked ' fine gold' the value of which, if the assertion were true, would be twice that set upon them as the sale price. But this case, quite independent of its special object of bringing to justice a couple of offenders, carries with it a moral, and the Government might learn a lesson from it; Mr. Lowe, more particularly, might take a hint for future legislation. He might compensate what will be lost by the abolition of the Income-tax by enforcing the hall mark. It was as a safeguard to the public and a source of revenue to the Government that it was decreed, so far back as the reign of Henry III., that all plate and articles of gold and silver, exceeding a certain weight and of a certain quality, should be struck with specified marks indicating their genuineness and the payment of duty, so that they may be equal to money, weight for weight. Is this enforced? No. The laws exist, but they are not applied. Cases of forgery present themselves frequently, but there is no one to prosecute. The Government appoints inspectors of weights and measures, Custom-house inspectors, and other officers to protect the revenue, why does it not enforce its own laws with regard to gold and silver wrought articles, and protect the public from fraudulent sham jewellery? Why does it not watch its own interests in this as well as in other cases? The two men at Manchester—Wetzler and Chapman—have been convicted and sentenced, one to 18 months', and the other to 15 months' imprisonment; but what protection has the public from the industry of the confederates of such offenders? The manufacture of this sham jewellery still goes on, and markets for it are found in the auction-room and the pawn-shop. "What would be easier than for Government to pass a short law defining what is to be understood by the word 'gold,' insisting on the hall-mark for each article, and claiming duty for so protecting a too gullible public?"

Source: The Times - 17th February 1873

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