This is an exquisite antique calling-card case dating from 1896. It bears the highly coveted Chester Hallmark, circa 1896.
The case rendered in brilliant sterling silver and features extraordinary repoussé decoration on the front and back.
It is fully hallmarked on the front and back and remains in outstanding antique condition.
Each side of the case exhibits masterful, deeply hammered repoussé designs.
The four edges feature dazzling foliate scrollwork and darling daisies in bloom. Tiny stippled marks add fabulous texture and depth to the motif.
The inner-area of both sides remains smooth and shiny, making the perfect complement to the highly-dimensional repoussé work.
A simple push-latch on the long edge allows the case to open smoothly and close securely.
There is a tiny thumb-tab that juts out near the latch on the underside making the case easier to open.
As you can see, there are several die-stamped hallmarks on the case. "F" and "M" are stamped in the lower left hand corner.
These marks are slightly worn and as yet unidentified. Typically, a stand alone "F" indicated a foreign made, imported silver object.
Near these, you will see more typical British hallmarks stamped in succession. The first of these is the "lion passant" (the standard mark for English silver items).
This is followed by the Chester Assay Office's mark (a shield containing three sheaves of wheat surrounding a sword) and finally the date mark (a capital "N").
The date mark represents 1896, as the year of manufacture.
The "lion passant" and date mark "N" are stamped on the reverse of the case as well. Finally, the thumb-tab is stamped with a capital "F".
On the interior of the case, you will find that the latch is slightly oxidized, though it continues to work perfectly well.
Other areas of wear and darkening can be seen on the interior though the exterior of the case remains in outstanding condition, exhibiting only some minor surface scratching.
Beautifully designed and crafted silver items lend such elegance to a collection, and this beauty is no exception.
Measurements: 4" long, 3 1/8" wide, ¾" thick Weight: 87.4 grams (3.08 oz)