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Hallmarks & Maker's Marks
 
Sometimes they are there. Hallmarks, punch marks, maker's marks.... Sometimes they are fully written out, like: "Hossauer" or the silver content mark "938", so you know right away, what they are there for. Sometimes you find only a little sign or short cut. Most of them you will find in the usual literature. Once they are identified, they will tell you something about your piece, the age or who made it and when.

Three marks bothered me for quite a while. I wasn't able to figure out why there were on orders. I found them everywhere. On needles on stars, on rings on order decorations. The bad thing was, no system was behind them.

Here they are now: An E.T., an owl and a swan. Actually the swan was the first I saw to often.

First of all, they were and they are still French.

Their meaning:

a) Punch mark for pieces made from gold and silver, imported from countries without trading contract to France 1864-93 (no guaranty of silver or gold content)
b) Punch mark for pieces (with minor silver or gold content) coming out of auctions or lawn offices or for pieces of art or rarity, since 1893.

click to enlarge (found on a Zaehringer Lion Commander Cross from the foundation periode)

Punch mark for pieces made from gold, imported from countries without trading contract to France, since 1893. Example to the right is on the ribbon ring loop on a Red Eagle Grand Cross.

click to enlarge (found on a Prusian Red Eagle Grand Cross)

Punch mark for pieces made from silver, imported from countries without trading contract to France, since 1893.

 

Austrian markings on German order decorations:

Hexagon shaped marking for imported pieces made from silver "AV". It also shows to the top left an "A" for the Vienna controlling government office. Found on the reverse of the needle and the needle hook of a Saxon Order of Albert 1st type Grand Cross Star.

For pieces made of silver imported into Austria after 1902 the marking AV above  changed to the winged A as shown to the left.

Below are several punch marks for German order decoration makers:

Punch mark of the famous Prussian jeweler and order decorations maker Hossauer. (Mark on the lower cross arm of a Red Eagle Order 3rd class 2nd model)

Mark of the gold manufacture Humbert & Sohn in Berlin. They were in business from 1799 on and competed with Hossauer. In business until approx. 1865.

Punch mark of the famous Prussian jeweler and order decorations maker Hermann Julius Wilm, born January 27, 1812, to 1907, on the cylinder of a Red Eagle Order 3rd class last model. Below the famous double scratched W mark on a Red Eagle Order 3rd class from around 1850. 1844 Court Jeweler.

Punch mark of the famous Prussian jeweler and order decorations maker Wagner next to the marking: 938 for the silver content mark "938". (lower cross arm of a 3rd class Silver gilt Order of the Crown with swords).

Another example of a punch mark "W" from Wagner next to the marking: 938 for the silver content mark "938". (lower cross arm of a silver gilt Pour le Mérite).

Scratch mark AW for Emil August Wagner. Born April 30, 1826. Did learn his work working for Hossauer in-between 1842 and 1846. Promoted to become Court Jeweler for the Prussian in 1856. He bought together with F.L.J. Sy the old Hossauer shop in 1856. (Mark on lower cross arm of a Red Eagle Order 2nd class)

 

 

Unknown makers mark on a Red Eagle Order 3rd class 2nd model. Please help to identify this one.

Red Eagle Order 4th class last model

House Order of Hohenzollern knights cross with swords

This scratch mark can be found on pieces made by the Brothers Friedländer. They incorporated the firm from Zadek S. Friedländer (June 26, 1801* - March 01, 1861+) and run their business 1867 at Schloßplatz 13 in Berlin. They become court jewelers within the same year and start a Orders making firm at Unter den Linden 28 in Berlin. This company was together with the Johann Wagner & Sohn court jewelers the main source for orders and medals for the Prussian Orders Chancellery. Their punch mark can be found on various order decorations such as Red Eagle order or the Pour le Mérite.  

 

Goldsmith J.H. Werner run his company  Berlin at Unter den Linden 1 separate from his shop in Friedrichstr. 173. His mainly supplied decorations of the 4th class of the Order of the Crown and the Red Eagle Order to the General Orders Commission.

In 1761 the Godet firm was founded by Jean Godet. The Godet firm was one of the earliest order decoration jewelers in Germany. Under the management of Jean Fredric Godet the company became court jeweler to the Prussian Kings in 1828. The Godet family ran the business as J. Godet & Söhne from approximately 1864 to sometime after 1924, when the name changed to Eugen Godet & Co. In the late 1920th early 1930th the name changed again to Gebrüder Godet & Co.Above the marking on a Silver gilt PlM. The marking shown on the bottom was found on a real golden PlM made by Godet.

This maker on a Prussian Crown Order 3rd class stands for Willibald Kluge & Co. His shop was at Leipziger Strasse 71-72 in Berlin. He mainly fabricated Red Eagle and Crown Orders 4th class as well as some 3rd class crosses of the Order of the Crown.

Scratch mark for the orders and decorations manufacturer Neuhaus & Sohn, Morenstrasse 47 in Berlin. Well known for Red Eagle Order as well as Crown Order decorations especially in their 4th and 3rd class. Started business in 1885. Here a Red Eagle Order 3rd class.

Top picture shows a quite rare scratch mark on a real golden House Order of Hohenzollern knight badge with swords made by Sy & Wagner. The bottom picture is on the Silver gilt example from after 1916. The company Sy & Wagner existed until the First World War. Jeremie Sy and Albert Wagner took over the business from J.G. Hossauer in 1859.

Punch mark of the Mecklenburg jeweler: H. Rose (Reverse of a Griffin Order pin back cross (left) and needle of a commander star right))

Punch mark of the Mecklenburg jeweler: H. Rose on the reverse of a grand cross star of the Mecklenburg Schwerin type House Order of the Wendische Crown.

The mark "D" stands for doublée and indicates that a piece is not made from gold, but is "doubliert" meaning gilt. Baden uses it on all order decorations made this way during World War one.

Marking on a separate golden plate attached to a cross arm of the Baden Order of the Zaehringer Lion Commander Cross with swords WWI issue: Court jeweler Zimmermann, the 58 was meant to be a 585 to show the gold content. Sometimes those markings did slip and aren't fully readable.

Marking on a Saxon Commander Cross of the Military Order of St. Henry WWI issue: "R"

Alfred Roesner was promoted to Court Jeweler in 1912 and became official orders decoration supplier to the Saxon Orders Chancellery in 1915. 

Signet plate on the reverse of a Saxon Order of Albert 1st type Grand Cross Star of the manufacturer G.A. Scharffenberg in Dresden. Approximately 1860.

Adam Hausinger was situated in Munich and is known for some early Bavarian order decorations. The mark to the left was found on a Military Merit Cross 1st type made in the timeframe of 1866 to 1870.

Mark found on a Military Merit Order 2nd class with swords. GEB.H.750 stands for a decoration made by the Brothers Hemmerle in 750/1000 parts gold.

The Rosenthal mark has crossed my path on only 2 different breast stars. The one to your left comes from a very early Oldenburg grand cross star. The other one was seen on an Anhalt  Albert the Bear grand gross star.

T.H.Mueller was court jeweler and order manufacturer to the grand dukes of Saxe-Weimar. He manufactured most of the decorations of the Order of the White Falcon since about 1870. The mark to your left is on a grand cross star with swords from WWI.

If you have any questions about punch marks, just send me an e-mail, this list could be continued.

© A. Schulze Ising, XII/01

 
© 2005 medalnet.net andreas@medalnet.net
 
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