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.


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Retailer Retailer's Mark Period Corresponding Silversmiths
R. Cave
c.1810
unidentified retailer
location unknown
Richard Garde
Henry Rooke
14, Essex Quay from 1800
14, Crampton Court from 1802
80, Dame Street 1827
Dublin

Thomas Townsend
Matthew William Rowe c.1840
48, Dublin Street
Carlow
William Cummins
Richard Peter
(successor to Walter Peter)
c.1845-1850.
102, Grafton Street
Dublin
Christopher Cummins
Forward Rumley
c.1820-c.1835
67, Dame Street
Dublin
James Le Bas
Charles Stewart
(later Charles Stewart & Sons)
(probable)
1803-mid 1830's
1, Exchange Court from 1803
1, Crampton Court from 1818
1, Dame Street from 1829
Dublin
Laurence Nowlan
Charles Marsh
Charles Stewart
Thomas Bennett 1840's
75, Grafton Street
Dublin
James Le Bas
Timpson c.1850
unidentified retailer
location unknown
John Smyth
T. North c.1825
unidentified retailer
location unknown
Samuel Neville
John Tolekin
c.1795-1836
84, Grand Parade
Cork
John Sheils
John Twycross
later John Twycross & Son
1800-1849
14, Fownes Street from 1800
69, Dame Street from 1819
Dublin
Arthur Murphy
John Nangle
James Scott
Laurence Keary
Joshua Buckton
James Moore
John Kavanaugh
Philip Weekes
William Cummins
Edward Power
Charles Marsh
Wallace c.1820
unidentified retailer
location unknown
William Cummins
Waterhouse
Waterhouse & Co.
George Waterhouse & Co.


1842 - 1960
25 & 26, Dame Street
Dublin
Samuel Neville
Philip Weekes
John Smyth
Charles Lamb
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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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