Thomas Law registered a mark on September 11th
1773, the day the first marks were registered at Sheffield.
His mark is very distinguishable as he chose to use his full name as
his mark. He marks his name on one arm and an abbreviated “TL” mark on the
other. This “TL” mark is often in an unusual serrated edged punch.
Thomas Law was also a maker of Sheffield plate and the marks he used on
plate were either:
"TL" along with THo "LAW". or
"TL" along with "LAW".
In examining the various publications regarding the Thomas Law maker's mark,
in particular the Sheffield Assay Office register, we see that his mark for
silver was "TL" with "T.LAW". It is noticeable that the punch depicted
does NOT have serrated edges. From the pairs of tongs below, we
can clearly see that he used both the serrated edge "TL" punch and the "TL"
punch without a serrated edge.
We do know that there were a number of Sheffield makers that made both solid
silver and silver plate. It seems that the Assay Office was not always
too concerned which of the maker's marks were punched, (Deakin
Smith & Co. are another case in point as their maker's mark on the solid
silver tongs shown is also not the mark registered in the Assay Office
Clearly it is much more important to see the Assay Office Lion Passant to
determine whether an item is solid silver. This is the true
determination - not the maker' mark.
Thomas Law sugar tongs are quite rare.
Click on a picture to see more