Irish provincial maker?

PHOTOS REQUIRED - marks + item
jojo 1
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Irish provincial maker?

Postby jojo 1 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:23 pm

Hi there, I am hoping someone could help me identify the maker of this spoon.
I bought it along with several other Irish provincial spoons but do not recognise the maker and have done some research to no avail.
The 'ster' mark is a little rubbed but the 's' can be seen at certain angles - makers initials look to be
JRH - but not absolutely sure! Would be grateful if anyone could help - hopefully the photo's are clear enough!
Many thanks, Jo.

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dognose
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Re: Irish provincial maker?

Postby dognose » Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:09 pm

Hi Jo,

Can you post an image of the detail on the front of the spoon.

Trev.

jojo 1
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Re: Irish provincial maker?

Postby jojo 1 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:26 pm

Hi Trev,
thank you for your response. This is the photo with the best detail - I am not sure if it is the same spoon but it is exactly the same design anyhow! It is engraved with 'Loretto' - as the other provincial spoons were - from Loretto Convent, Fermoy in Co. Cork. I have researched it to the best of my ability{!}. Time for the experts!
Thank you, Jo.

Image

dognose
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Re: Irish provincial maker?

Postby dognose » Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:42 am

Hi Jo,

Although it does not look like it in your mark image, I think it is actually 'J.R.N'

Image

This would be John Ross Neill of Belfast. Perhaps the least known member of the Neill family, John Ross, along with his brother James, inherited the business of their father, Robert Neill. It's been a long time since I looked into the details and actual dates of this partnership, but after it broke up, the business was continued by James and then it passed to his son, Sharman Dermott Neill.

Further investigation is required to determine the details of John Ross Neill's career, before and after the partnership.

Trev.

jojo 1
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Re: Irish provincial maker?

Postby jojo 1 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:09 am

Hi Trev,
thank you so much! I was sure that I would never find the answer to this one! Other people who have looked at the mark and thought that the last letter was an 'N' , although in this photo it looks very much like an 'H' - it depends on the angle and the eye I guess! I will try to research John Ross Neill further and if anyone else can help further it would be much appreciated. Thank you so much for your time and effort - hopefully I will be able to actually contribute something to the forum one day!
Best wishes, Jo.

dognose
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Re: Irish provincial maker?

Postby dognose » Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:31 am

Hi Jo,

You're very welcome.

If you come across any further information on John Ross Neil, please be sure to post it here.

As a side note.

hopefully I will be able to actually contribute something to the forum one day!


You can, you stated that you have acquired some other provincial spoons, well, we'll love to see them, even if you are aware of their origin, it gives as all a chance, perhaps, to learn a little more. If you are willing to share some images of your finds please start new topics for each.

Regards, Trev.

jojo 1
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Re: Irish provincial maker?

Postby jojo 1 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:54 am

Hi Trev,
I most certainly will post other provincial marks - they are all regular Cork makers.
I also collect novelty silver and have difficulty determining the makers on a couple of pieces - so will post some photo's later on. Great forum! Thank you again... Jo.

dognose
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Re: Irish provincial maker?

Postby dognose » Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:25 am

A few months on and I've had a change of heart over my attribution of the maker of this spoon.

Having lately seen clearer examples of this mark, it is indeed 'JRH' , rather than 'JRN', this coupled with the 'STER' mark plus the geographical location of the Loretto Convent at Fermoy, now make me think that this is one of the marks used by the Cork silversmith John Irish.

Jackson has an example of a similar mark (p.714), but shows it as 'IRH' in an oval, but his sighting may possibly have been of a worn example of the mark, and if so, it would be easy to see why it would appear to look like the way it was published.

The thoughts of others would be most welcome.

Trev.

jojo 1
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Re: Irish provincial maker?

Postby jojo 1 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:05 pm

Hi again Trev,
Thank you for coming back to me - I do believe that the maker is definitely 'JRH' as you say - John Irish. Finally, a conclusion!! Thanks again for taking the time.... Best wishes, Jo.

doc
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Re: Irish provincial maker?

Postby doc » Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:36 pm

The Sisters of Loreto operated (and continue to operate) a number of schools and convents in Ireland, including a number in and around Dublin, so I do not think that the engraving is of much assistance in narrowing down the attribution.

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Re: Irish provincial maker?

Postby dognose » Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:01 am

Some detail of the Loretto Covent at Gorey, Wexford:

THE LORETTO CONVENT

The Loretto Convent is connected with the Catholic church by a long passage or cloister, which enables the nuns to worship there in a special place behind the sanctuary, free from observation. The convent is called the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the order was founded in Germany in the seventeenth century. There are twenty-five nuns occupied in teaching, and the school has three divisions— the higher being the boarding school, with fifty pupils, for young ladies ; the day school, forty to fifty pupils ; and national school, 175 to 200. A new building at the back of the convent is devoted to the young ladies’ school and dormitories. The school-room is sixty feet long, divided by pillars and a large arch at the end. In one of the convent parlours hangs a portrait of Sir Thomas Esmonde, Bart., and the windows look upon the garden, in the centre of which is a large statue of the Virgin and Child. The convent chapel is tastefully decorated, the apse being sky-blue and gold, the whole, including the altar, receiving a tint from a coloured window to the left.


Source: Wexford County Guide and Directory - George Henry Bassett - 1885

Trev.

Argentum2
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Re: Irish provincial maker?

Postby Argentum2 » Sat Sep 26, 2015 7:01 pm

Loretto Gorey has nothing to do with Loretto Fermoy.

They were completely independent houses. In the case of Loretto Fermoy, it did have a dependent house in Clonmel.

Brief history here:
http://loretofermoy.ie/about/history/

I viewed the silver at the auction in Fermoy. Much of it appears to have come to the house from one family in Cork City a member of which had joined the community in Fermoy. There was a large table service of English silver as well as several good pieces by Cork makers - including an item by Conway. Much of the silver was engraved "Loretto" which is distinctive for its use of the "tt". I have the catalogue and should dig it out.

The auction catalogue is here on line:

(admin edit - see Posting Requirements )


The silver is from lots 205 to 240.

Argentum2
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Re: Irish provincial maker?

Postby Argentum2 » Sat Sep 26, 2015 7:03 pm

doc wrote:The Sisters of Loreto operated (and continue to operate) a number of schools and convents in Ireland, including a number in and around Dublin, so I do not think that the engraving is of much assistance in narrowing down the attribution.



I disagree with this and take a contrary position.

scorpio
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Re: Irish provincial maker?

Postby scorpio » Mon Sep 28, 2015 4:01 pm

I'm puzzled as to why Jackson attributed IRH to John Irish as no other Irish silver reference book does so. Likewise, I cannot trace any source for J.R.H (JRH) being attributed to him.

Bennett attributes II in an oval reserve and II in a rectangular reserve to John Irish while Dudley Westropp mentions a spoon he owned with [crowned] 'I.I' 'I.IRISH' [crowned] 'I.I'. The authors of Cork Silver and Gold shown a mark [crowned] 'I.I' 'I.IRISH' 'I.IRISH'. Cecil C. Woods does not mention John Irish in his 1895 list The Goldsmiths of Cork.

'I.IRISH' and [crowned] 'I.I' often appear on the same piece of silver or even [crowned] 'I.I' 'I.IRISH' [crowned] 'I.I' as on Westropp's spoon and another sold in 2003. This would seem to indicate that the [crowned] 'I.I' is not an older mark of John Irish as suggested in the Irish Provincial section of this website but commonly used in association with 'I.IRISH'. Also found is 'I.IRISH 'I.I' 'I.IRISH. These combinations are the ones most commonly seen on John Irish silver. Did John Irish even use a STERLING or STER punch as it's not mentioned or shown on any silver by him I've come across? If anyone has a photograph of such a mark, please post it. On the other hand, STER does appear on spoons with the maker's mark JRH which suggests to me this is not a mark of John Irish despite what some sellers may say.

The Sisters of Loreto in Ireland commenced with the setting up of Loretto Abbey, Rathfarnham in 1821.The change of spelling from 'Loretto' to 'Loreto' is explained below.

In November 1821, M. Teresa Ball and her two companions, M. Baptist Therry and M. Ignatia Arthur, returned to Ireland to establish the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Ireland. In 1821, Dr Murray purchased the dilapidated Rathfarnham House, but it was not fit to be occupied until 4 November 1822. On occupation a boarding school, convent community and free school were opened for Catholic girls. Rathfarnham House was renamed, ‘Loretto Abbey’, after a shrine to the holy family in Loreto, a small town near Ancona, Italy. The spelling changed in the early 20th century to Loreto. Loreto Abbey remained the ‘Mother House’ of the Institute in Ireland, and its dependent foreign houses until 1976.

The Fermoy community seems to have started in 1853 as per link Argentum quoted.

The decoration on Jo's spoon (or at least the 'Loretto' inscription) cannot be by John Irish whose working life is given as 1748-75 (Westropp & Cork Silver and Gold), 1748-80 (Bennett). Bright cut decoration like this appeared on Irish silver up till about 1810.

So, it would seem that Jo's spoon was inscribed 'Loretto' at a much later date that the bright cut style of the spoon suggests but as to who JRH was, I am no wiser.

scorpio
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Re: Irish provincial maker?

Postby scorpio » Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:22 pm

Since I posted the comments above, I have seen some bright cut spoons by John Irish where he used a STERLING mark in a serrated reserve in association with his 'I.IRISH' maker's mark.

scorpio
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Re: Irish provincial maker?

Postby scorpio » Fri Oct 16, 2015 2:39 pm

Some John Irish marks:

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scorpio
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Re: Irish provincial maker?

Postby scorpio » Mon Oct 19, 2015 3:41 pm

Another spoon with the same maker's mark as on Jo's spoon, JRH stamped twice with STER inbetween.

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silversam
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Re: Irish provincial maker?

Postby silversam » Fri Jun 10, 2016 9:34 am

Hello All,
This is my first post here so please forgive if I do so improperly.
Pictures are of a fiddle with shoulders salt spoon bearing what appears to be the IRH mark discussed above and a rubbed STER mark. Seems inconsistent with the 18th century John Irish attribution but I have yet to locate an Irish silversmith with the correct initials working in a later time frame.
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dognose
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Re: Irish provincial maker?

Postby dognose » Fri Jun 10, 2016 10:29 am

Hi Silversam,

Welcome to the Forum.

Thanks for adding this information to this interesting topic. Can you capture a close-up of the engraving?

Trev.

silversam
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Re: Irish provincial maker?

Postby silversam » Fri Jun 10, 2016 10:58 am

Thank you.
The salt spoon is one of a group of three. One has totally worn engraving. Close ups of the other two, also very worn, are attached.
As best I can figure, the engraving seems to be a buck.
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