The history of the Hanau, Germany silver makers is a long and relatively complex one. Hanua imported into their city skilled Dutch and French silversmiths to fuel the silver industry from the sixteenth century until the beginning of the 19th century, and the industry suffered many ups and downs all the while. By the beginning of the 19th century the industry was beginning to flourish again, and was in a full boom by the end of the century, particularly after the Franco-Prussian war when payments from the French (who lost) brought new wealth in to Germany. So the Hanau makers concentrated on making silver in an antique style to satisfy the antique market which was in short supply, combining many stylistic elements of various antiques. They actually ended up making the pieces recognizable in a style of their own right. The hallmarks on these pieces are considered "psuedomarks", meaning that the markings imitated older hallmarks, often French hallmarks. The pieces were generally made in a grade of 750 to 835 solid silver, what many would call "continental silver". That is the case with this beautiful antique Hanau Georg Roth plate, which is made after the French Louis XVI style, with a pastoral love scene that is spectacular in the center of the plate. The mark on the plate that we've outlined in red was used from 1891 to 1906. This spectacular solid silver plate measures over 9 inches in diameter and weights 11.6 ounces! The wealthy of the era could not get enough of these types of ornate objects to put in their homes.
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