A fabulous set of 12 Scottish Provincial tablespoons in the Fiddle pattern, made by Rettie & Son in Aberdeen in 1837, and hallmarked in Edinburgh. The spoons are good quality, and in remarkable condition, they have not been used much, 10 are perfect, 2 have a very small dent to the bowl. The spoons are engraved with original owners initial W. All 12 spoons are clearly hallmarked "R&S A B D" for Rettie and Son, Aberdeen, alongside full Edinburgh hallmarks for 1837, with William IV duty mark. Middleton Rettie and his son William started the business in 1824, supplying quality goods from 151 Union Street to wealthy Aberdeen citizens. They were joined by other brother James in 1847, and traded until 1892. They are known for extremely high quality items (Michael Wilson, Aberdeen Silver, page 56), these spoons are no exception. Note - We have a matching set of dessert spoons S 11346.
A set of 6 Scottish Provincial Oar pattern teaspoons made in Banff circa 1820, 4 by John McQueen and 2 by William Simpson I. The Oar pattern is also called Fiddle without Shoulders (Pickford Silver Flatware page 111), it is a scarce variant only found in Scotland. All 6 teaspoons are engraved with original owners initials JJR, but close inspection of the engraving shows the 2 spoons by Simpson were engraved by a different hand, we presume this was done later to complete a set of Banff teaspoons. You can also see slight differences in the shape of the bowl and Fiddle in the 2 Simpson spoons when compared to the Mcqueen spoons, showing they were all made by hand. The hallmarks on all 6 spoons are good, the 4 McQueen spoons have the stub mark of McQueen - B, A, Scottish Thistle, McQ - mark BF35 in the Directory of Scottish Provincial Silversmiths by Richard Turner, a book we highly recommend. 2 spoons have wear to the B, and one spoon has wear to the McQ, probably a result of uneven punching. The 2 Simpson spoon...
A Scottish Provincial silver toddy ladle in the Celtic Pointed pattern, which was only produced in Scotland and Ireland. The ladle is lovely, long elegant handle with circular bowl, and an original engraved family crest of a crescent. The ladle has 3 hallmarks, makers mark RK in rectanglar punch, Edinburgh 3 tower town mark, and a triple cusped Georgian duty mark. We are not sure if these are official or pseudo hallmarks, the Town mark looks a little suspicious, with irregular punch on top, and it should be accompanied by the thistle and date letter if it was struck in Edinburgh. The duty mark with triple cusp is a well made punch so could be genuine, and the makers mark looks a little crude. It could be Robert Keay of Perth but sent to Edinburgh for assay, but we feel these marks are suspicious, so possibly Robert Keay using pseudo marks or another silversmith altogether. Most Robert Keay silver has his eagle mark, but he did sent some silver to Edinburgh for assay. He is known to have used a triple cusp dut...
An Iona sterling Silver Prioress Anna Disc and Shield brooch, made by Alexander Ritchie of Iona, one of the most respected and sought after Scottish silver jewellers of the 20th century. The brooch is a classic Ritchie design in Celtic Arts & Crafts style, a convex shield with Celtic cross, and central knotwork boss. The 4 arms feature a copy of the stone effigy of Prioress Anna Maclean of Iona, the central boss reads "Prioress Anna - Iona". The original stone carving of Prioress Anna is still visible on Iona. The brooch is cast, the pin is in full working order, and the original safety pin chain is still intact and working. The hallmarks are worn, makers mark AR is just visible, as is "IONA" which is legible but worn. A second AR and IONA is present but badly worn. No date letter or townmark is present. We assume this means this was an early Ritchie piece, made before he started using the Chester assay office in 1910. A registration number (to protect the design) is clearly visible, Rd No 664083. Alex Ritc...
A Scottish Provincial toddy ladle, made by David Manson in Dundee. The toddy ladle is in the Fiddle pattern, and has original owners engraved initials RG. The ladle has 4 hallmarks, a partially struck D makers mark for Manson, and 3 well struck and clear "pot of lilies", from the Dundee coat of arms. Manson worked between 1809 and 1830, his work is quite scarce.
An interesting Scottish Provincial silver snuff box, presented in Wick in 1868. The box is rectangular, the construction is unusual with a solid wedge shaped lid, overall the box has a hand made feel, slightly crude in finish, the hinge is a little wonky. The box is quite heavy and solidat 82 grammes. The box is engraved with worn scrolls on the lid and front side, this contrasts with the clearer engraving, we assume the box was made earlier and the engraving added later in 1868. It reads "From LJB, Wm Bremner, New Harbour Works, Wick, 1868". No hallmarks are present. This box has an interesting history, Wick was once the world's largest herring fishery port. The harbour was improved and expanded in 1831, James Bremner (we assume father to William), the notable Scottish naval architect, completed the work using ingenious near vertical flagstones, still visible today. Between 1863 and 1868 the harbour was improved again (the New Harbour Works) by adding a breakwater comprised of stone Jennies, it was designed...
A Scottish Provincial silver tablespoon, made in Aberdeen by Peter Ross between 1819 and 1822. The spoon is Fiddle pattern, and has original owners engraved initials AGC. The hallmarks are clear. The hallmarks include makers mark PR between two A hallmarks for Aberdeen. Ross was admitted as an Aberdeen hammerman in 1819, but only lived for 3 more years until 1822 (Aberdeen Silver by Michael Wilson). His legacy is Fiddle pattern flatware, he is not known to have produced other silver items. Note - We have a matching pair of tablespoons S 1891.
A pair of Scottish Provincial silver tablespoons, made in Aberdeen by Peter Ross between 1819 and 1822. The spoons are Fiddle pattern, and have original owners engraved initials AGC. The spoons are in lovely condition, well preserved, and the hallmarks are clear. The hallmarks include makers mark PR between two A hallmarks for Aberdeen. Ross was admitted as an Aberdeen hammerman in 1819, but only lived for 3 more years until 1822 (Aberdeen Silver by Michael Wilson). His legacy is Fiddle pattern flatware, he is not known to have produced other silver items. Note - We have a matching single tablespoon S 1892.
A rare set of 8 Scottish provincial silver teaspoons from Perth in the Fiddle and Shell pattern, circa 1830. Five spoons are by James Stobie, the remaining 3 by John Pringle, both worked in Perth at the same time. All are single struck, as is usual for Scottish flatware, and all are engraved with original owners initials JIJ. The shell pattern struck by the 2 different makers is slightly different, so these were struck in different workshops using different moulds (the Stobie shell is flatter and convex, the Pringle shell is more raised and concave). The differences are quite small, not really visible unless closely scrutinised. The Pringle bowls also have slightly narrower bowls and the engraving is not quite as crisp. They also seem to have aged slightly better than the Stobie spoons, so perhaps fractionally better quality? All 8 spoons have clear hallmarks, S, JS, double headed eagle (Perth town mark), JS for the Stobie spoons, and I.P, I.P, double headed eagle, I.P for the Pringle spoons. Both of these ar...
A Scottish Provincial silver Fiddle pattern dessert spoon, by a very rare maker, with excellent hallmarks. The spoon is engraved with initial F in contemporary style, a single initial as is often the case in Scotland. The hallmarks are excellent, well struck and very clear, and include makers mark CT, Gothic A, incuse Fleur De Lys, Gothic A, makers mark CT, for Charles Torchetti, who worked in Aberdeen from 1825 until his death in 1840. In the book "Aberdeen Silver" by Michael Wilson, he is described as a "rare maker, with occasional Fiddle pattern spoons and forks". He was described as a picture framer, optician and looking glass maker in the Aberdeen Trade Directory (Wilson pg 34), he worked from Queens Street. Wilson also notes that Alexander Grant used the same Gothic A and incuse Flear De Lys, and that they came from the same punch, so surmises that Torchetti bought spoons from Grant and applied his own makers mark. The provenance of this spoon is also interesting, it has spent the last 40 years as part...
A rare set of early Scottish Provincial tablespoons from Aberdeen, in the Old English pattern. The spoons all have engraved initial "P", which is contemporary. The spoons are early, and have a double drop. The spoons have pleasing dimensions, and are a good weight. The hallmarks include makers mark "AT" in script for Alexander Thompson, who worked between 1770 and 1779 in Aberdeen. The second mark is "ABD.n" in script, for Aberdeen (see Jackson pg 584). All 8 spoons are hallmarked, but some hallmarks have been slightly compressed during shaping of the spoons, and some are lightly struck or worn. Alexander Thompson was apprenticed to Coline Allan (one of Aberdeen's finest silversmiths), he was free in 1770, but unfortunately died young in 1779. He made very high quality spoons (Michael Wilson, Aberdeen Silver, A Collectors Guide, pg 32, which is a book we highly recommend).
A set of 4 Scottish Provincial silver teaspoons in the Celtic pointed pattern, by James Douglas of Dundee. The spoons have original script initials BS. The hallmarks include makers mark ID for James Douglas, followed by a crowned shield and topped heart, used by Douglas (Turner, Directory of Scottish Provincial Silver, pg 62). The hallmarks are clear, especially the topped heart mark, which is in an unusually shaped punch, almost heart shaped. James Douglas worked in Dundee between 1796 and 1820.
A pair of Fiddle pattern toddy ladles, along with an Old English example, but all made by the same maker in the same year. Given Edinburgh hallmarks, the maker WC could be confused with William Cunningham of Edinburgh, but his makers mark is always in a shaped cartouche. The hallmarks on on all 3 are very clear. Note the switching of the order of the duty mark on the pair.
A Scottish provincial Fiddle pattern dessert spoon, made by John Urquhart of Perth. The spoon has script initials L. Whilst the spoon bowl is disappointing, the hallmarks are very well struck and very clear. The Perth town mark (imperial double headed eagle displayed) is taken from the arms of the Burgh (Jackson, pg 613). The hallmarks include makers mark JU, double headed eagle, JU, double headed eagle, S (in an unusual shoreform shaped punch - Poole), having a noticeable indent away from base. These marks are fairly rare, indeed the makers mark and S are not included in Jackson (pg 614). Perth is the former capital of Scotland.
A Scottish provincial antique silver toddy ladle, Fiddle pattern with engraved initial L, and long elegant handle (longer than most toddy ladles). The hallmarks are very clear, AC, C, thistle, pot of lilies, AC. Alexander Cameron added the thistle mark to the Dundee pot of lilies in the early 19th century, after the manner of Edinburgh marks (Jackson, pg 599).
A Scottish provincial toddy ladle, made by David Gray of Dumfries, but with Edinburgh hallmarks for 1818. The ladle is Fiddle pattern, and has a beautiful crest of a crowned swan, standing with wings outstretched, with motto "Be Mindful". This is the crest and motto of Clan Campbell of Cawdor, headed by Earl Cawdor of Cawdor castle. The hallmarks are very clear, including triple cusp duty mark. The D of the makers mark appears to overstrike a P, but the G is very clear. The ladle also has a small heart shaped journeyman's mark.
A Scottish provincial silver toddy ladle, made in Inverness by Donald Fraser, but hallmarked in Edinburgh in 1830. The ladle is Fiddle pattern and is plain. The hallmarks are very clear, including a large makers mark D.F.
Typical Scottish silver toddy ladle, in the Fiddle pattern, with engraved initail P. The ladle was made by Andrew Wilkie, a Dundee silversmith, but was assayed in Edinburgh. Silver by Wilkie is found with both Dundee marks (pot of lilies) and with Edinburgh marks, as is the case with other Scottish provincial silversmiths, brought about by the imposition of duty on hallmarked silver. According to Turner (Directory of Scottish provincial silversmiths and their marks), certain makers had a proportion of their silver fully stamped in Edinburgh, to keep their registration as a silversmith valid - and to keep the Revenue service happy that duty was being paid.
Very rare set of plain fiddle pattern Scottish provincial sugar tongs with extremely clear hallmarks on both arms - AS TAIN. Initials GC engraved on bow. Stewart was a very skilled craftsman (Quick, Ballance of Silver) who originally worked in Inverness (1796 - 1812), then moved to Tain. He died in 1841. Only 160 pieces of Tain silver by Stewart are known to exist, and only three quarters of these have the TAIN townmark. (Quick, Ballance of Silver). Tain, which has long been a pilgrims destination visiting St Duthac's shrine, is the home of Glenmorangie Whisky, made by "The 16 men of Tain".
A Scottish Provincial Fiddle pattern soup ladle, with exceptionally clear and distinct hallmarks, deeply struck with no wear - these hallmarks are rare. The ladle is a good gauge, very solid, and fit for use, and is engraved with the initial I in contempory style. The bowl has a good shape, with raised edges, a feature of earlier ladles. The hallmarks are makers mark CF, ELGIN, cathedral wall and St Giles. The cathedral hallmark represents the west front of Elgin Cathedral Church (Jackson, pg 601), St Giles is its patron saint. The detail of the hallmarks is very good, with windows, door, double roof and battlements visible in the cathedral, and cloak, nimbus, staff and book visible in St Giles. Charles Fowler worked from 1809-1824, most of his silver is marked ELN (as opposed to ELGIN in full), the combination with the cathedral wall and St Giles is scarce.