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  • Writer's pictureAntiques in Oxford

John Atkins & Sons silver and enamel butterfly brooches

The history of one of the most famous and oldest British companies John Atkins & Sons started over a hundred years ago in Spencer Street. This is in the famous jewellery quarter in Birmingham, England.

Initially, they specialised in a variety of women’s and men’s silver accessories and were renowned for their silver guilloché enamel work. After the 1920s, Atkin & Sons Ltd moved to Bradford Street, and in the early 1960s the company changed its name to Atkin & Sons (Birmingham) Ltd. Traditionally, the craftsmen of this company made brooches, pendants and bracelets in the Edwardian and Art Nouveau styles. Most of the designs included multicoloured butterflies and dragonflies with the use of silver and guilloché enamel. The craftsmen marked their products with JA & S stamp, sterling and traditional British stamps.

Noteworthy, British silverware has a special standard set of stamps. In particular, the stamp of the British standard, the city of production, the year of manufacture stamp and the brand of the manufacturer. If the item has less than four hallmarks, it is either made in another country or is not silver. Meanwhile, until the end of the era of Queen Victoria, appeared the fifth stamp. It meant the payment of tax from the product in favour of the state.

The Birmingham brand “anchor” is a sign of high quality and undeniable authority. The absence of this mark indicates that the item was not manufactured in Birmingham.

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