1784 — 1843
Nathaniel Mills & Sons were 19th century Birmingham silversmiths who excelled in making silver boxes, snuff boxes and visiting card cases. Nathaniel Mills, the Elder, was a partner in Mills & Langston, Northwood Jewelers when he registered his first mark in 1803. In 1825, he registered his well-known now punch mark 'N.M' within a rectangle at the Birmingham Assay Office and concentrated on working with silver on his own. Mills contributed to popularization of the so-called castle-top silver vinaigrettes and visiting card cases engraved with British landmarks and sold as souvenirs to tourists; he became one of the most prolific Birmingham box makers at the time introducing different designs.
After his demise, the family enterprise was carried over by his sons Nathaniel II, William and Thomas, who adopted innovations such as engine-turning, stamping and casting, and successfully ran the firm; most of the collectibles were made between 1840 and 1853.