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Sheffield Assay Office Paves The Way for Those Fascinated by Silver

Published: 17th March 2021

The team here at Sheffield Assay Office recently joined The Silver Society's Early Career Silver Group for two online events to help promote hallmarking and share knowledge and information with the next generation of silversmiths, dealers and curators.

The group is open to those under the age of 35 but happily accepts applications from those who are changing career or embarking in post graduate studies, regardless of their age. The group offers mentoring and support, with the following opportunities:

  • To contribute a short article in the ECSG section of Silver Studies Journal
  • To deliver a short presentation at a designated Members’ meeting
  • ECSG events in a more informal setting, taking account of work/study commitments of young professionals and students.

When restrictions allow, ECSG offers up to 3 bespoke visits per year with exclusive access to:

  • One art fair (antique or contemporary)
  • One auction house
  • One museum or private collection

During the first two sessions, our Curator, Librarian and Archivist, Emma Paragreen, shared elements of the Sheffield Assay Office collection in a show and tell session, talking about the work of Katey Felton, Brett Payne, Maria Hanson and Jen Ricketts. Emma also explained the importance of contemporary collecting and commissioning new works, as well a highlighting the difference between traditional hand marking using punches and laser hallmarking.

In the March online event, Luke Schrager, Antique dealer and researcher based in London, spoke about a particular piece of George III flatware and gave a fantastic plug for identifying hallmarks by using the Bradbury’s Book of Hallmarks, thanks Luke! Brittany Luberda, Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts at the Baltimore Museum of Arts discussed the 1860s Tiffany & Co Woodlawn Vase. This was followed by Daisy Lee Overton and Colette Bishop who shared their knowledge and expertise with the group on commissioned work and their practice from their workshops at Yorkshire Artspace, Sheffield. The group really enjoyed learning about contemporary silverware and to have saw piercing, soldering, spinning, chasing and repousse’ work explained first hand was great. Both certainly flew the flag for Sheffield and the Assay Office, our sincere thanks to them both.

The talks were followed by a quiz, featuring hallmarks, identifying silversmithing techniques, dating objects and a mystery object, which turned out to be a Danish cheese slice.

For more information about the group please visit the website:

If you are interested in joining please contact Luke on the following email: or follow the group on Facebook @TheSilverSociety or Instagram @thesilversociety1958

Daisy Lee Overton at work on her Sheffield Assay Office, Precious Little Gems Commission 2019.

Photographer/Copyright Daisy Lee Overton

Liqueur Beakers - Designed by Colette Bishop. Made from Britannia silver and gilded, hand chased and repousse.

Photographer/ Copyright Colette Bishop

The Sheffield Assay Office was established in 1773, under an Act of Parliament and today the company assays and hallmarks the precious metals - silver, gold, platinum and palladium. Sheffield Assay Office is one of only four UK assay offices who all work to uphold the Hallmarking Act of 1973 and continue to ensure consumer protection for customers purchasing precious metals.

To find out more about the whole range of services offered by Sheffield Assay Office, such as our hallmarking and analytical services, please email us at or complete the contact form on our website at,

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