Hallmarking and the Work of Birmingham Assay Office
Image: Hallmark from Boulton and Fothergill fork for year 1774.
Image from: Birmingham Assay Office
The hallmark on the Boulton and Fothergill’s fork represents all information specified by the Act of 1773: “MB” and “IF” stand for Matthew Boulton and John Fothergill, the Anchor represents the Birmingham Assay Office, the Lion means sterling silver marked in England, and the “B” stands for the year 1774.
The Assay Office was not controlled by the trade but by a Board of thirty-six Guardians of the Standards of Wrought Plate who were elected for life. They were appointed for their position in the region, or for their knowledge of wrought plate. Matthew Boulton himself was among the first Trade Guardians.« Previous in this sectionNext in this section »