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I wanted to share this with others here at IAO in case it helps someone else with their research in the future. I was trying to find out more information regarding a silver/plate pin that belonged to my husband's late Grandmother. Here is a photo of the front:
And now a photo of the back:
In the upper right there is a mark, a man holding a child. I looked through all silver/plate resources that I knew of to try to identify this mark. Here is a close up of it:
I could not find anything out about it, so I posted it to a forum where I know they have extensive knowledge re: silver/plate marks. At first they were as puzzled as I was, nobody had seen this hallmark before. But then, one of the British ladies remembered that she has seen this type of mark on Roman Catholic jewelry, usually placed there for a special "hidden" meaning behind the piece of jewelry. With more brainstorming, it was finally concluded that this is St. Anthony holding baby Jesus. St. Anthony is also associated with lilies, which of course is the flower that makes up the design of this pin. St. Anthony is the patron Saint of lost and stolen things, this includes lost people and lost causes. It makes sense that this pin would have special meaning to someone :).
As a young girl, I had religious Christian jewelry, some with religious figures... but they were always on a little metal "charm" attached to the jewelry somehow. Though the way the man in the "hallmark" is dressed does point to a religious figure, it did not click with me at the time. This is the best part of loving vintage things... how much we learn as we research these treasures!
So, it was not a hallmark or manufacturer's mark at all... it was a religious symbol, giving the pin a special hidden meaning :). I wanted to share this with all of you in case you might find yourself puzzled over a mysterious hallmark on your jewelry someday.
WTG! If I had seen this before ( I didn't belong to this group until you sent me here :) ) My very first thought was St. Christopher - I was a bit off - with it being St. Anthony - but I have sold a LOT of religious themed jewelry and I have seen items like this, including watches and other special pieces that all depict that special meaning! I love it - Keep it, and share with your children - it's wonderful, and probably dates to the Victorian era!
Hi Vicki, yes I will certainly be keeping it in the family for future generations :) ...thank you for your response, I was wondering if it might be late Victorian or early 20th c., I think it has a very art nouveau-y look to it :).
My mom has the same pin, but hers has the immaculate stamped on the inside. Much nicer than pinning those metals to your bra the way my old aunties did. ;-)
St. Joseph is also associated with lilies as well as the Virgin Mary.
This is lovely! And made even better for the special meaning it holds too.