Forum Auctions

Thursday, March 26th, 2020

The Birmingham Assay Office Library

Founded in 1773, thanks to the drive and persistence of local silversmith Matthew Boulton, the Birmingham Assay Office is responsible for assaying (testing) and the hallmarking of precious metals (gold, silver, platinum and palladium) as required by the Hallmarking Act.

The Library is rich in books from the 16th to 19th century on metallurgy, mining, design and ornament, but also covers chemistry, alchemy, numismatics, jewellery, horology (including most notably three works by Longitude Prize-Winner, John Harrison) and British topography.

The Office has retained a core collection of books which are both relevant and utilised regularly. The Guardians will invest the proceeds of the auction back into the Office to enable further investment in technology, processes and people. Its goal is to ensure Birmingham Assay Office remains at the forefront of serving future generations of silversmiths and jewellers – and continues to deliver its core responsibility of providing consumer protection.


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