Cork Republican Silver

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dognose
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Cork Republican Silver

Postby dognose » Sat Dec 20, 2008 4:08 am

Cork Republican Silver

The period before and after the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in London on the 6th December 1921, which was to create the Irish Free State, was a time of great disturbance in Cork.

Cork was a fiercely Republican city and fierce anti-treaty resentment was inherent throughout the area. This resentment had propagated itself into the establishment of anti-treaty, militant groups, formed for the sole purpose of disrupting British governance. Following a series of attacks on the police and other officials by these anti-treaty groups the British government was forced into taking firm action in order to prevent further violence. Part of this response was the ill-fated decision to send in the infamous ‘Black and Tans’, a paramilitary police force renowned for their aggressive nature, to back up the local Royal Irish Constabulary. The situation of course was made far worse and anti-British resentment grew into hatred. What followed was a series of tit-for-tat atrocities that cumulated in the sacking of Cork on the night of the 11th December 1920. In this incident the ‘Black and Tans’ went on a rampage and set fire to Cork city centre, destroying over three hundred properties.

One of the properties to catch fire that night was the only real working silversmith in Cork, William Egan & Son, based in Patrick Street. Egan’s was under the management of Barry Egan, the grandson of the founder and described by one writer as ‘an energetic man, with literary, philanthropic and political interests and with a record of concern for his employees’. Barry Egan fought in vain that night to save his business. Fortunately he was able to recover all the records of William Egan & Sons from the huge safe at the premises when it had cooled down the following day. It says much of Barry Egan’s spirit, that in little more than a week he was back trading again.

Another business that was probably damaged that night was the jeweller, clock and watchmakers James Mangan, who was just a few doors down from Egan’s.

Mangan’s and Egan’s can both be traced back to the early years of the nineteenth century, both resumed trading again from the same properties. Egan’s was rebuilt in 1925 with a splendid Celtic revival shop front and landmark clock, but sadly both firms closed their doors for good within three years of each other with Egan’s closing in 1986 and Mangan’s in 1989.

Following the fire however was perhaps one of the most interesting periods in Cork’s silversmithing history. From July to September 1922 Cork was a closed city occupied by anti-treaty forces following the withdrawal of British troops in June of that year. All road and rail links to the city were cut off and as a result Egan’s was unable to send their output to Dublin for assay and hallmarking.

The silver created in the period is known as Cork Republican Silver, it is thought that Egan’s produced some sixty to eighty pieces. All were marked with the maker’s mark ‘WE’ in celtic style script and the original marks of Cork: a two-masted ship with a single-towered castle on either side of it.

Jackson’s has just the briefest of mentions regarding these marks, stating that these pieces are illegal and would be destroyed by the Dublin Assay Office unless their marks were also present.

After the hostilities had finished, Barry Egan destroyed the punches that were used on the Republican Silver.

Today these pieces are, not surprisingly, very keenly sought after, and there was a display in 2005 of 250 pieces of Cork silver through the ages, including some of the Republican Silver pieces at the Crawford Municipal Gallery in Cork that attracted 50,000 visitors.

Although Egan’s is no longer in existence, the spirit of the firm survives; after the closure of the business in 1986 the tools and equipment were purchased by Sean Carroll & Sons run by Chris Carroll whose father and brother worked at Egan’s, working alongside Chris Carroll are Jimmy Callanan and Eileen Moylan and the tradition of silversmithing in Cork continues.

Trev.

dognose
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Postby dognose » Tue Dec 30, 2008 6:58 pm

Hi,

A James Mangan delivery box.

Image

Not sure about the date, but a three figure telephone number would I guess be around the same period.

Trev.
.

dognose
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Postby dognose » Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:48 am

Advertisment for William Egan & Sons from 1907, thirteen years before their premises was destroyed by fire.

Image

Trev.
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dognose
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Postby dognose » Sun Nov 29, 2009 10:52 am

Image

32, Patrick Street, Cork. The premises of William Egan & Son, that was destroyed by fire on the night of the 11th December 1920.

Top right of illustration, the Arms of Cork, reproduced by Barry Egan for the marks on Cork Republican Silver.

Trev.
.

dognose
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Postby dognose » Mon Apr 12, 2010 4:31 pm

Another advert for William Egan & Sons Ltd. from 1907.

Image

As can be seen, the address stated is 33, Patrick Street and they describe themselves as 'Antique Dealers', so it would appear to be a sideline to the silversmithing and ecclesiastical business.

Trev.
.

dognose
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Postby dognose » Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:31 am

Miles (Granmaa) has very kindly obtained permission to reproduce this image of a William Egan & Sons billhead from 1894.

Image
Photo courtesy of Wynyard Wilkinson

Trev.
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dognose
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Re: Cork Republican Silver

Postby dognose » Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:26 am

If the information below is correct, then perhaps the premises of James Mangan escaped the great fire in December 1920.

Image

As can be seen from the above list, the premises of William Egan & Sons, J. Haynes & Sons, and James Hacketts' were all consumed by fire.

Source: News letter of the Friends of Irish Freedom, National Bureau of Information, Washington, Volume 2 - 1921

Trev.

dognose
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Re: Cork Republican Silver

Postby dognose » Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:29 am

An example of Cork Republican Silver:

Ardagh Chalice

Image

The design of this piece, with its Celtic revival style, is very loosely based on the original eighth century Ardagh Chalice which was rediscovered in 1868 in County Limerick and is now in the National Museum in Dublin. It is marked with four stamps, 'W.E' contained within an oblong, single towered castle, two-masted ship, single towered castle. These marks identify the work of William Egan & Sons during the period July to September 1922.

This piece is part of the display of Cork silver to be found at the Cork Public Museum, see: Cork Public Museum


For further detail regarding the original Ardagh Chalice see:
http://www.limerickdioceseheritage.org/ ... halice.htm
http://www.museum.ie/en/list/artefacts. ... 8bc08cc471

Trev.

dognose
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Posts: 32387
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Re: Cork Republican Silver

Postby dognose » Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:47 am

Another piece of silver from the Cork Republican period.

Image

A Loving Cup in the possession of the Cork Public Museum, on loan from the Dowdall family.

The body is made more robust by the addition of ogee wires and is constructed with traditional loving cup handles. The overall height of the cup is 6 1/4" and weighs 11 ounces.

The marks:

Image

Cork Public Museum

Trev.

dognose
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Re: Cork Republican Silver

Postby dognose » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:46 pm

Another example of Cork Republican Silver:

Image

A Rose Bowl in the possession of the Cork Public Museum, it was a gift from the late Phyllis Bean Ui Cheallaigh, the widow of President Seán Tomás Ó Ceallaigh.

This hand hammered rose bowl is of semi-circular shape, standing on a plain circular foot and top rim is strengthened by heavy ogee moulding. The rose motif which surrounds the Bowl is flat chased.

Width: 9 inches - Height: 4 1/2 inches. Weight: 26 3/4 ounces.

The Rose Bowl bears two inscriptions:

1 - "Bronntanas ar charaid Nodlaig 1925. Cuimhneachán ar cruadh-shaol." ["Presented to a friend Christmas 1925. In memory of hard times."]

2. "Rath o Dhia ar bhur bṕósadh." Féirin mór-mheasa agus deigh-mhéinne don Aire Seán T. 0 Ceallaigh, T.D. agus D'á uasal-cheile la a bpósta 1.9.1936,
ón a gcaraid, Tomás O Dubhdaill, i gCorcaigh." ["God bless your marriage" A token of great respect and good wishes to the Minister Sean T.O. Ceallaigh, T.D. and his dear spouse on their wedding day 1.9.1936 from their friend, Thomas Dowdall, in Cork.]

(The original gift was made to T.P. Dowdall who in turn presented it to Mr and Mrs Sean T.O. Ceallaigh.)

The marks:

Image

Cork Public Museum

Trev.


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