I got an object which is either made of silver or silver-plated (as far as I can see), and while studying the hallmark I noticed another mark close to the hallmark.

At first I thought it was nothing special or simply minor damage, but then I found the same mark on the other side and now I'm wondering whether it can tell me something about the object and if so, what?

The object is a French carnet de bal hallmarked with P revolver Q which according to this site is Quitte and Prudent - registered in 1882.

EDIT A carnet de bal is, freely translated in today's slang, a party notebook. A young demoiselle would take it with her to a ball and note with whom she danced which dance.

The carnet is around 5x3 cm big.

This is the object (front and backside), and I circled the positions of the marks. (click to enlarge)

These 2 pictures show the hallmarks and the mark in question:

  • 2
    Could it possibly be the shape of the tip of the tongs the silversmith used to hold it while working?
    – T.E.D.
    Jun 7, 2013 at 2:30
  • 5
    @T.E.D., silversmiths wouldn't use tongs for something like that, and only the most sloppy silversmiths would leave marks like that on a finished piece. The whole item looks like it was made by repousse, a process that would have no need for tongs: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repouss%C3%A9_and_chasing
    – Joe
    Jun 7, 2013 at 4:17
  • @Joe is right, the object was done by the Repoussé-method. The back of the two plate witness that.
    – Patrick B.
    Jun 7, 2013 at 6:44
  • Very interesting question, and a beautiful... object? Jun 7, 2013 at 17:14
  • 1
    What is the orientation of the mark in each spot? Since it does appear, like you say, to come from the same thing, orientation may be important. @Joe - While I agree it would be sloppy, the technique does require annealing (reheating, basically), they might therefore use tongs. Jun 7, 2013 at 19:01

1 Answer 1


My guess is that's a head of wild hog - French hallmark for 800/1000 silver fineness used for small objects from May 1838

enter image description here

Here is a page about french hallmarking system on silvercollection.it. Look for "Hallmarks from 10 May 1838".

Another page from wineantique dedicated to silver standards.

French 800 was guaranteed by the Minerve 2. The Minerve surrounds were the same but now a 2 appeared just below her chin. Small 800 items were marked with a crab or warthog's head.

UPDATE: Found the discussion of another carnet de bal with similar mark recognized as a silver standard hallmark:

Marked on the front with the head of a wild boar (French hallmark for silver fineness of 800/1000, introduced for small silver articles on 10th May, 1838).

  • Thank you so much for your answer. I actually found the link you found, but I didn't read carefully enough.
    – Patrick B.
    Jun 10, 2013 at 11:47

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