By the end of the period, the arts industry had broadened considerably from its original monastic base: not only were most artists laymen, but a number of artworks were commissioned by wealthy bourgeois patrons for personal enjoyment.
This is why most American Silver antiques made ca 1860s – 1900 are termed “Coin Silver” because the silver content of such items was the same as in the recipe used in making actual currency coins at the US National Mint.
These protectionist practices for silver (and Gold or other Precious Metals) around the world, especially in Europe and America, resulted in silver antiques having many marks, most of which are Duty marks.
For example, many countries rich in silver, whether already in the form of artistic or decorative items or as a pure metal, exchanged it for Chromium or other related materials used in making weaponry and dynamite.
In fact, many countries, including the US, changed the standards of how much content of pure silver a decorative or utilitarian item may have so that it can quickly be converted to currency without much chemical processing.
Silver is a “precious metal” and as such it was heavily regulated throughout its history and until very recent times. Silver and silver items were regarded as part of the National Treasure or Federal Reserve of many countries and authorities devised copious methods of assessing its value and also constantly monitored the overall quantity of available silver within the national borders at any given time, whether in the form of raw silver ingots or silver jewelry and artifacts.
Part of the reason was that Silver could be easily converted to currency or be used as a valuable bargaining or bartering resource in trading with other nations, such as allies and those who had other commodities to exchange that would be vital at war or times of crisis.Silver marks are usually shown in groups of anywhere from two to as many as six marks.The main reason for this plurality of silver marks on antiques is that silver was marked primarily for Taxation or Duty Collection reasons.Usually, only one or two of these silver hallmarks are the actual makers marks of the silversmith or artist.Countries most notorious for requiring all these silver marks include Great Britain, France and Germany.Types of valuable materials in regular use included: gold dust, foil or leaf; silver and other precious metals (see also, the art of goldsmithing); expensive natural colour pigments such as ultramarine, made from the rare Afghanistan ore lapis lazuli; rare types of ivory; calf-skin for vellum - one bible manuscript required the skins of up to 500 animals; and many other expensive materials.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating