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".)
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 very pleasing pair of Scottish Provincial silver sugar tongs, by David Gray of Dumfries. The tongs are plain but have lovely proportions, which are noticeably different from English made tongs. The hallmarks are excellent, unicorn, makers mark DG, and fouled anchor. This combination of marks is unusual and is not recorded by either Jackson (pg 597) or by Turner (Directory of Scottish Provincial Silversmiths). The tongs are engraved with script initials EB, which is original.
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 rare Scottish provincial teaspoon from Dumfries, in the Old English pattern. The hallmarks include a fowled anchor, X, crown and MH (small) makers mark. The hallmarks have some wear but are still clearly visible, makers mark is very clear.
A rare set of 6 Scottish Provincial teaspoons, with engraved initial J. They are an unusual pattern, Fiddle without shoulders, and the edges are bevelled. Each spoon is slightly different, clearly each spoon has been made individually by hand. Each spoon is hallmarked with 3 "pot of lilies" followed by makers mark WC. The marks on 3 spoons are excellent, well struck and very clear, on 2 the bottom right hand corner is not visible, and on 1 spoon the marks are partially visible (but the pot of lilies still clearly visible) - as is often found with makers individually struck by hand. The pot of lilies townmark (azure a pot of growing lilies argent) is taken from the arms of the Burgh of Dundee (Jackson pg 598). Each pot has 3 lilies and 2 handles clearly visible.
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". 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.
A rare set of 3 Scottish provincial toddy ladles (Fiddle pattern) made by James Pirie of Aberdeen. All 3 ladles have an interesting crest, a dexter hand holding a kings crown, which is well engraved. This is the crest of the Cheeseman family, it is also used by the Robertson family.
The hallmarks JP, ABD, JP are very clear on all 3 ladles. The makers mark JP is quite rare, in fact it is not depicted in Jackson's, although it is recorded in Turner's Scottish provincial silversmiths.
A Scottish Provincial dessert spoon in the Fiddle pattern, made in Arbroath. The spoon is initialled with the letter C. The hallmarks include makers mark AD, crowned head * 2, portcullis. The makers mark AD is very clear, the portcullis is clear, the crowned heads are visible but have some wear, perhaps the punches were worn. Overall hallmarks are very good.