Sheffield is one of the provincial Assay Offices, created in 1773 along with Birmingham.

Sheffield sugar tongs of this early period are rare and usually of superb quality and style. We should remember that it was around this period that Sheffield started producing Sheffield plate, i.e. this was NOT solid silver. Many of the Sheffield companies produced plated wares as well as solid silver. Do not be confused. The hall-marks for solid silver are relatively easy to identify and are well documented. Note that the date letter was included on sugar tongs from when the Assay Office first opened so tongs can be readily and accurately dated.

DS&C - Deakin Smith & co.

IW - John Watson

HT TL - Henry Tudor & Thomas Leader

IL&Co. - John Love & Co.

IM - Jonathan Mappin

MF RC - Matthew Fenton, Richard Creswick & William Walton

NS & Co. - Nathaniel Smith & Co.

RG - Robert Gainsford

RM - Richard Morton

TA - Thomas Allen

TL - Thomas Lamborn

TL - Thomas Law