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 (each in its own envelope) 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 silver and gold marking in Australia leading up to the hallmark system. It also discusses the reasons for the demise of the latter. The Company ceased operating in 1940.
There has been an overall attempt to reproduce as much of the material as possible in its original size and form. Whilst not a facsimile, this publication retains the mood of the original ledger and its contents.
Hardback, approx 305 x 220 x 15 mm, portrait. 88 pages, 170 gsm paper.