Hallmarking and the Work of Birmingham Assay Office
Image: Boulton and Fothergill Forks and Spoons showing Hallmarks for 1774
Image from: Birmingham Assay Office
On 31 August 1773, the Birmingham Assay Office opened in three modest rooms at the King’s Head Inn, in New Street. Boulton was the first manufacturer among the town’s forty licensed silversmiths to submit his wares (and the first to have his items returned smashed because they were not up to standard).
By 1815, the Assay Office moved into offices of its own in Little Cannon Street. In 1877, the site in Newhall Street was acquired, and the Office has remained there to the present time.
The original Act of 1773 only enabled the Birmingham Assay Office to assay and hallmark goods of silver plate. But in 1824 it was granted power to assay and hallmark both gold and silver made in Birmingham, or within 30 miles of the town.« Previous in this sectionNext in this section »