Hardback, 297 x 210 mm, 88 pages, ISBN 978-0-646-99639-4. £45 (Silver Society members £ 35), Air Mail postage ex Australia £25. Available from email@example.com
From the records of the Sydney Hall Mark Co and the Commonwealth of Australia Hall Mark Co, 1923 to 1928.
It is not widely known that Australia had a hallmarking system. Reference is briefly made in J.P. de Castro’s work: The Law and practice of Hallmarking Gold and Silver wares and in a few specialised texts on Australian jewellery. Now published, for the first time, is the archival material giving the background to the operations and workings, of Australia’s short-lived hallmarking system, and the marks used by the gold and silversmiths.
The archive consists of 43 registration forms, some loose correspondence, and 20 silver plates on which are stamped the maker’s marks.
The correspondence is very illuminating. It includes a formal letter to the Commonwealth statistician outlining the Company’s background, formation, name change and marking system. A lengthy letter from the deputy Assay Master details operations and there is also the highly informative three-page annual report of 1924.
This fully indexed and illustrated publication includes an introductory essay on the life and times of silver and gold marking in Australia – as well as discussing the reasons for its demise. The Company ceased operating in 1940.
There has been an overall attempt to reproduce as much of the archival material as possible in its original size. The mood of the original ledger and its contents has been retained.