Above is the hallmark identifying the work of Kim & Chris Frey. This image was provided by the artists to aid in identifying their work.
Hallmarks arose in the Middle Ages along with the guild system as a means of identifying the origin of valuable products—items of gold and silver were first to be hallmarked. Hallmarks assured purchasers of the origin (and thus quality) of the hallmarked item. In time, they evolved into modern brands and trademarks.
In hand-made goods we select for the Directory of Traditional American Crafts, we require hallmarking. Each item must bear the unique mark of the maker, both to assure that the product was indeed made by that particular artist and that the product, if a reproduction, makes no pretenses of being an antique original.
Under the rules for participating in the Directory, each piece offered by an artist must bear its hallmark in a
way that cannot be separated from the work. Even when a work, like a sampler, which for accuracy contains the name and date of the maker of an original antique piece, must be signed or marked elsewhere on the piece to indicate the modern maker, age, and origin.
Hallmarks on Directory items are thus your best means of identifying a work and its maker without risk of ambiguity.
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2019 Directory Participants
The deadline is past for applying to enter the 2019 Directory of Traditional American Crafts. Applications are now in the hands of the jury, who will select the best artistry to include in the Directory. When the judges have completed their selections, we will individually notify each participant whether he had been selected. Please refrain from contacting us during the jurying process. It will only slow things down.
We've mailed the
April 2019 issue of Early American Life to all of our current subscribers. The postal service advises you should allow up to three weeks for delivery,
so subscribers should have their copies of our new April issue by the beginning of March.
All new web subscriptions will start with the June 2019 issue. Call us at 440-543-8566 if you have other subscription requirements.
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