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The reason The Period Ironmonger is publishing this blog is to explain how to read a Diamond Registered Design Mark or Lozenge Mark, but first I'll give you a very brief history of why and when they came about.
In 1835 a committee of MPs was set up to revue evidence regarding the pirating of designs in British industry. Seven years later in 1842 the need for copyright of design was recognised and an act was passed in Parliament to give the manufacturers legal protection for their designs. The act gave them three years protection from the date of registration and a fine of £30 would be imposed on anyone found guilty of copying an item while the protection was in force
Over eight thousand designs were registered in the first year – 1842-1843. Once recoginsed as a viable safeguard for design ideas the system steadily grew and by 1883 registrations had gone well over sixteen thousand. This in itself caused problems as the system was somewhat complex so the implementation of a simpler version was introduced.The initial procedure involved allocating numbers and letters to each design but this became harder to keep track of, so on 1st January 1884 the diamond registration mark was dropped and a new system was introduced, this scheme still exists today in the same form.
I have included a chart to show how the Material, Year, Month, Day and Bundle are worked out and once examined it really is self explanatory.
So in the first example (figure 1) Class of Material = 1 – Metal, underneath that is The Year of Registration – N = 1864. Moving clockwise we have the number 26, this is the day of the month, then, the number 7 – this is the bundle or batch number. Next is the letter W, if you look at the chart (figure 2) you can see that this is for the month of March. So the date of registration for this item is 26th March 1864. This example is taken from a Goats Head Door Knocker (figure 2a) we have on our site under the Reclaimed and Refurbished section. The knocker was manufactured by Archibald Kenrick & Sons of West Bromwich.
Reading the Diamond Registration Mark 1868-1883
In 1867 the key to the identification of Diamond Registration Marks changed slightly so I’ve included a second example.
On the second Diamond Mark (figure 3) you can see that at the top is the number 1, this hasn’t changed, again this is the class off material. Underneath this is the number 25, this has now changed to the day of the month, moving clockwise is the letter E this is now the year and looking at the chart you’ll see that this 1881. At the bottom is the letter I, this is the month and the 1868-1883 chart shows that this is July. Then we have the number 7, this is the bundle or batch. So the date for this Diamond Registration Mark is 25th July 1881.
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