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).
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".
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
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 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.