Hello sometime ago, last summer in fact I was an under bidder for an on-line spoon. I kept a photo of its marks as I did not recognise them at all. I felt there was a pseudo British duty mark and strange mark that had features a bit like the 90 mark you seen on some Chinese Export silver. Into my Colonial Makers folder the photo then went and that was the end of it or so I thought.A copy of the marks are shown below.
Move on 15 months and I am looking for information on an “IG” maker, a possible Scottish provincial silversmith. I am looking at the http://www.silvercollection.it site at their list of Aberdeen silversmiths and I see a familiar NG maker mark. Associated with the mark is the pseudo duty mark, the mark with the 2 curved lines but in this case an extra “ABD” for Aberdeen. My photo shows just an “A” and how obvious every thing appears now. The marks in my photo are marks belonging to the Aberdeen silversmith Nathaniel Gillet who was suggested to be working between 1785 and 1821.
But why had I not thought my first photo was for an Aberdeen silversmith?
1 There was no “ABD”, “ABDN” or more helpfully the “ABERDEEN” marking.
2 There was no 3 tower/turret/castle mark as associated with the Aberdeen city crest.
3 There was no thistle mark as associated with provincial Scottish but also Edinburgh silversmiths.
There are some examples of the lacking figural marks shown below.
I will add a couple of notes on my mixed pictures. The 3 Turret mark is found both in square and in T-type shaped cartouches. It also seems that various thistle-type marks were used by the different silversmiths. The bottom left thistle in that composite picture is from a spoon identified as Aberdeen by me (though you will get your chance to put me right perhaps in a later post).
There are other examples of these marks and other Aberdeen marks to be found on the web site noted above and in an article in a “Finial” referenced below. The last reference is a Nathaniel Gillet reference on our own site.