strike a mark

1) Applying an individual cutler's mark to a piece he had made.

Cutlers had their own marks, and the idea of ‘striking a mark’ is explicit in a Latin entry in the Sheffield court roll of 1554. William Elles was assigned a mark for his knives, and provision was made lest any other person strike [percutiet] that mark. The use of the expression in English soon followed and in 1590 the Sheffield cutlers were ordered not to stryke anye marke on their knives except the one assigned to them, and not to stryke anye other marke. In 1730, Thomas Warburton was accused of engraving upon his razors contrary to his Mark. The marks were made on forged items such as knives and scissors by hammering the blades with a mark punch, about 8 cm long and 1-5 cm across. Little is known about their manufacture and it was assumed by Unwin that cutlers made their own.

places Sheffield
dates 1554 1590 1730

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Photo by Kreuzschnabel CC BY-SA 3.0