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Proof marks on English firearms made outside London and the developments which led to the establishment of the Birmingham Proof House in 1813, with its familiar “V” and “BPC” marks under crossed sceptres.
Some arms proved in Birmingham after 1813 show additional stamps which take the form of “tombstone” shaped impressions with a variety of numbers and symbols enclosed therein.
Provincial makers’ marks, i.e., those struck by gunmakers who were not members of the London Gunmakers Company. The fundamental question is whether these marks were struck merely to identify the maker of the piece, or whether they also signified that the item had actually passed a proof test successfully.
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