A rare Iona silver scarf ring, in the Celtic Arts and Crafts style. The ring is very good quality, and has a classic Ritchie Viking longship motif, with celtic knotwork side panels, and terminals of wolf like celtic beasts. The ship is copied off an 11th century stone carving in Iona's Abbey museum, and the beasts are similar to those found in the Book of Kells. The hallmarks are very clear, "AR IONA" incuse, along with makers mark ICA (Iona Celtic Arts) and Birmingham hallmarks for 1934. Ritchie registered the ICA makers mark in 1931 in Birmingham. Alex Ritchie's work was inspired by the ancient Celtic and Viking carvings on Iona. He is regarded as one of the most respected and sought after Scottish silver jewellers of the 20th century. (All information courtesy of Alexander Ritchie website, see link on our links page. A similar scarf ring is shown on the website.)
A rare pair of Scottish Provincial gravy (or serving or basting) spoons in the Oar pattern, which is a scarce variant of Fiddle pattern (Fiddle without shoulders), only found in Scotland (Pickford, Silver Flatware, pg. 111). Both spoons are engraved in contempory style with the letter "M", and are in such lovely condition that they do not appear to have been used (note the lovely spoon tips). Both have clear Scottish Provincial hallmarks, makers mark RK struck 3 times, and the Perth double headed eagle town mark struck twice.
Robert Keay worked in Perth between 1791 and 1825, from the style of these spoons they were made between 1800 and 1805, when Oar pattern was popular in Scotland. A very similar gravy spoon, also by Robert Keay of Perth, is depicted in Ian Pickford's Silver Flatware book, figure 145, pg. 111.
A Scottish provincial silver basting (or gravy) spoon in the Fiddle pattern, made by Alexander Cameron in Dundee, with Edinburgh hallmarks for 1824. The spoon is good quality and has a good feel, it is suitable for use as a serving spoon. The hallmarks are excellent, and include the "CAM over ERON" and "DUN over DEE" marks used by Cameron, along with very clear Edinburgh marks. Cameron was apprenticed to Robert Keay of Perth, and worked between 1818 and 1849. Following the re-imposition of duties in Great Britian in 1784, a duty mark had to be struck on silver, which in Scotland could only be done in Edinburgh. This meant that the provincial silversmiths had to submit their silver to Edinburgh - often a long arduous journey, so few did. By the 1820's when this spoon was made, provincial silversmiths such as Cameron submitted a portion of their silver to Edinburgh, to satisfy the authorities.
A rare Scottish Provincial pointed end tablespoon, with excellent hallmarks by a scarce maker. The spoon has script initial M (contempory) above the number 8, we assume its position in its original set. The spoon has some overall wear, but is a good weight, still a lovely spoon. Pointed end spoons are uniquely Scottish, the style was never adopted in England.
The hallmarks are well struck and very clear, makers mark S.L struck twice, with the Dundee pot of lilies and date letter m. Similar makers can be seen on lot 190, Woolley & Wallis sale of a private collection of Scottish Provincial Flatware, January 2009.
Lovely scottish provincial tablespoon with characteristic celtic point, with the silversmiths surname incised. Initial A. The hallmarks include the crowned shield and "flaming heart" used by Douglas.
A Scottish provincial antique silver toddy ladle, in the Fiddle pattern, engraved with script initials TIR. The bowl is quite wide (5.0 cm) and oval in shape. The hallmarks are very clear and well struck, makers mark R&S and the A,B and D of Aberdeen struck separately. Middleton Rettie and Sons worked in Aberdeen between 1824 and 1891, they are known for their very fine silver.
A Scottish Provincial sterling silver brooch from Aberdeen, with a silver rim surrounding a polished oval pink granite. Aberdeen is known as the "Granite City", with its' building stone quarried from Rubislaw Quarry. The brooch is hallmarked with makers mark R&S and ABD, the unofficial Aberdeen town mark. Rettie and Son worked between 1824 and 1892, and are well known for their jewellery with the local granite (Benjamin, Antique Jewellery, page 92). The book "Aberdeen Silver, A Collectors Guide, Michael Wilson, pg 56, describes Rettie & Sons as "famous for silver and granite jewellery" Wilson also explains that the salmon pink granite used in this brooch is from the Corrennie Quarry, granite from Rubislaw is grey (pg 14).
A rare and lovely early Scottish Provincial Hanoverian tablespoon, with excellent marks. This is a very fine spoon, good weight and condition, a pleasure to hold. The spoon has a long drop, and quite a wide end with an oval shaped bowl. The spoon is initialled with script letter K, this is contemporary, and is engraved on the back of the spoon. The spoon has four very clear hallmarks, makers mark IS struck twice in a distinctive shaped punch, with two indentations on each side of the punch. The third hallmark is the Dundee "Pot of Lilies" town mark, the shape of each lily clearly visible. The forth mark is a letter "M" with unusual shape, occasionally used by John Steven (Turner, Directory of Scottish Provincial Silversmiths, pg 62, and Jackson, pg 600). A similar spoon by John Steven, without "M" mark, was sold as Lot 192 of "Private Collection of Scottish Provincial Flatware, Woolley & Wallis, January 2009, pg 34". John Steven was a very fine silversmith, we have just seen a pair of cast candlesticks...
A rare Scottish Provincial silver soup ladle, made in Banff by John Keith. This is a beautiful ladle, long and elegant, it is also very substantial, a pleasure to use. The ladle is Old English, and has a contemporary engraved initial "M". The ladle also has an unusual drop, bowl shaped with a ridge. The hallmarks include makers mark "IK" for John Keith, capital letter "B" (thought to represent Banff), and capital letter "M" (used by Keith , possibly to represent a date letter). The hallmarks are clearly legible, but the bottom left of both the "B" and "M" mark is not visible, probably as a result of not being well struck. We have dated this ladle to circa 1790, so early on in Keiths career.
A Scottish provincial toddy ladle in the Old English pattern, with circular bowl and a long, elegant, curving handle. The ladle is engraved with script initials AP, which are contemporary. The hallmarks include makers mark DM struck twice, either side of the Dundee town mark, a "Pot of Lilies". The pot of lilies is the arms of the burgh of Dundee (Jackson pg 598), the pot has 2 handles, clearly visible here. The hallmarks are clear, with slight wear to the lilies at the top of the mark. David Manson worked between 1809 and 1818, his work is quite rare.
A rare Scottish provincial soup ladle, made by John Heron in Greenock. The ladle is the attractive Celtic Pointed pattern (Old English pointed, Pickford, Silver Flatware, pg 96), which was only made in Scotland and Ireland. The ladle has original engraved initial E, in traditional Scottish style. This is a large, substantial and heavy ladle, with a generous circular bowl, a pleasure to use. The hallmarks are excellent, very clear, just a portion on the right of the sailing ship not visible, it was not well struck on that side. The hallmarks include makers mark JH, anchor, 3 masted sailing ship complete with sails, rigging and flying pennants, initial C and oak tree (Turner, Directory of Scottish Provincial Silversmiths, pg 68, and Jackson pg 605. The anchor and sailing ship relate to Greenock's history as an important port and shipbuilding centre, the oak tree refers to the town's original name (Green Oak).
A rare Iona silver letter opener, in the form of a sword, in the Celtic Arts and Crafts style, made by Alexander Ritchie of Iona. The letter opener is a substantial size and weight, a quality item, and is a pleasure to use. The sword is decorated with Celtic knotwork on the handle and blade. The hallmarks are very clear, "A.R." incuse makers mark, "IONA", and Glasgow hallmarks for 1929. Alex Ritchie's work was inspired by the ancient Celtic and Viking carvings on Iona. He is regarded as one of the most respected and sought after Scottish silver jewellers of the 20th century. (All information courtesy of Alexander Ritchie website, see link on our links page. An identical letter opener is shown on the website, http://www.alexander-ritchie.co.uk/other, it is described as "substantial, the design similar to one used on his much smaller sword brooches".)