Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, Hallmarks & Makers' Marks
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Irish Retailers' Marks on Sterling Silver

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Irish Retailer Marks

The custom of striking an extra mark upon Irish silver to denote the retailer was a common practice begun in the late 18th century and carried on until the early 20th century. Although this practice was later taken up by retail silversmiths in other countries, it is thought likely that the Irish were the first to do this on a fairly regular basis, making them pioneers in the concept of retail branding. The majority of the retail marks belong to individuals or firms that were listed in directories of the time as jewellers, watchmakers, goldsmiths or a combination thereof, while a minority were working silversmiths engaged in retail trading.

These additional marks can provide a wonderful insight into the Irish silver trade by revealing part of the working relationship between the silversmiths, i.e., who was working for whom, their working dates, intercity trade relations, etc.. However, the use of these additional marks has been known to cause some confusion, especially as there was some overlap between working silversmith and retail silversmith. At other times it can be difficult to determine which is the retailer and which is the maker. Another complication is that a later retailer's mark can sometimes be found on older secondhand piece that later passed through the hands of the retailer, this is a pitfall that should be remembered as it can easily muddle the working dates of the silversmiths involved.


A - F                   G - K                   K - P                   R - W                   W - W




Retailer Retailer's Mark Period Corresponding Silversmiths
G & N
c.1810
unidentified retailer
location unknown
Richard Sawyer
Henry Gardner 1805-1837
27, High Street
Belfast
Richard Sawyer
Charles Marsh
Philip Weekes
George Brown
1809-1866
3, Fownes Street
Dublin
Edward Power
Christopher Cummins
Gibson & Co. Ltd.
successor to William Gibson
Mark used after c.1890
2, Donegall Place
34 & 36, Castle Place
Belfast

William Gilbert
Succeeded by Gilbert & Sons
c.1830's-1850's
15, High Street
Belfast
William Cummins
Philip Weekes
John Smyth
Gilbert & Son
Successor to William Gilbert
c.1850's-1860's
15, High Street
Belfast
John Smyth
Robert & John Gray
Robert d.1847
John d.1860
1819-1860
18, Castle Place
Belfast

Thomas Farnell (Famel)
I.N.
Philip Weekes
John Smyth
William Hamy c.1808-c.1815
Dublin
James Scott
Arthur Murphy
Robert Breading
John Ash
late 1780's - 1790's
8, Capel Street
Dublin
John Dalrymple
John Power
James Keating
J. Cahoon c.1880
unidentified retailer
location unknown
John Smyth
James Hackett
from c.1820
(family run to c.1920)
42, Patrick Street
Cork
John Smyth
John Keene
(second mark probable)


1784-1815
67, Dame Street
Dublin
George Nangle
James Moore
1815-1849
16, Eustace Street from 1815
52, Dame Street from 1834
Dublin
Laurence Keary
John Keene II
successor to John Keene
1807-c.1815
67, Dame Street
Dublin
George Nangle
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Related Irish Pages at 925-1000.com:
Dublin Date Letters & Makers' Marks

Irish Provincial Makers' Marks

Masters and Wardens of the Goldsmiths' Company of Dublin - 1637-1800
Related British Pages at 925-1000.com:
British Hallmarks Explained
London Date Letters • 1696 - 1935 & Makers' Marks
Birmingham Date Letters • 1773 - 1924 & Makers' Marks
Chester Date Letters • 1701 - 1925 & Makers' Marks
Exeter Date Letters • 1701 - 1883 & Makers' Marks
Newcastle Date Letters • 1702 - 1884 & Makers' Marks
Sheffield Date Letters • 1773 - 1916 & Makers' Marks
York Date Letters • 1559 - 1858 & Makers' Marks
Edinburgh Date Letters • 1681 - 1931 & Makers' Marks
Table of Glasgow Date Letters • 1819 - 1896
Examples of British Import Marks


Thanks to Trevor Downes, this section was made possible by his original project on the Silver Forum.

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