Duty Mark: Used in hallmarking in the United Kingdom and introduced in 1784, it is a mark to show that duty
had been paid on an article of silver at the time of assay. Used from Dec. 1, 1784, to May 1, 1890.
Deepsilver: A term applied to silverplate flatware where the points of flatware that
would rest on a table had an extra layer of silver applied to it so that wear would be
Date Letter: Used in hallmarking, it is a stamp assigned by an assay office which represents
the year an item was assayed.
Date Code: An alpha, numeric, or pictographic system given to a piece by a maker to designate
when an article was made. Pictured are the date codes used by Gorham in 1930 and 1894.
Die Rolled: A sheet of metal which has been passed through patterned steel rollers.
Die Cutting/Sinking: The process by which a pattern or outline of an object is cut out of a piece of steel to form a
“die” from which a quantity of similar articles can be stamped out or impressed.
Dish Cross: An item for the sideboard, a dish cross is a support of four movable arms
radiating from a central point which contains a well to hold a spirit lamp. A platter or bowl
of food would then be placed on top, the lamp lit, and food would be kept warm.
Die Stamping: The process of stamping metal by the use of a die that forms the design.
Dog-nose Spoon: A style of spoon handle that came after the Trefid spoon, giving way to smoother
lines. Dog-nose spoons were produced c. 1690-1715.
Dish Ring: A circular stand used to elevate and support hot serving dishes and to protect the
surface of the table or sideboard. Also called a potato ring.
Dot Repoussé: Repoussé work made in the form of dots massed together to form a pattern or design.
Ductile: Capable of being drawn out or hammered thin.
Dutch Silver: Silverware imported from Holland. Generally, it is very decorative and cast of silver metal very
much lower than the sterling standard.
Drop: An extension used on the underside of a spoon's bowl to strengthen the join between the
bowl and the handle. The drop may also help prevent wear to the bowl.
Dinner Bell: A small bell used to announce dinner being served.
Decanter: A bottle with matching stopper used to decant, hold, and serve wine and spirits. Usually
made of glass or crystal, many examples of decanters have decorative silver mounts.
Dessert Service: A set of specialized dessert plates, comports, sweet sauce tureens, etc. for serving and eating
desserts. Beginning around 1750, it became fashionable to have a special service for dessert, separate from the
dinner service, sometimes to the extreme of setting a separate table for dessert. The practice died out by the end
of the 19th century.
Duty Dodger: An item of silver that has been given false or deceitful marks in order for an unscrupulous
silversmith to escape paying duty.
Drip Stand: A stand with an attached underplate onto which a used teaball or spout strainer is
set, the underplate catching the drips.
Dollars: A mark occasionally seen on silver meaning the item was made with
melted down silver dollars. Has the same meaning as coin silver.
Die: An engraved steel stamp used to impress a design. The die shown at right is of a sheaf of
wheat, the pattern of which started showing up on flatware around 1825.
Diaper: A pattern of contiguous diamonds.
Darning Egg: An egg shape tool of wood, porcelain, or stone, sometimes with a
silver handle used to darn socks. The darning egg is inserted into the toe or heel
of a sock, allowing the knitted fabric to retain its shape during repair.
Dip Pen: A pen with a nib end for use with an inkwell.