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
Thomas Adams
83, Dame Street
Elizabeth Bainbridge
Alexander Cooke
9, Main Street

John Asken c.1830 to 1861
10, Sackville Street Upper
Edward Power
Philip Weekes
John Smyth
B & D c.1824
unidentified retailer
location unknown
Charles Marsh
Bartholomew De Landre
Skinner Row
James Keating & Richard Flood
George & John Brown

3, Fownes Street
James Keating
George Bayley
William Cummins
Christopher Cummins Jr.
James Conner
Fleece Alley, Fishamble Street
William Cummins
Charles Stewart
(later Charles Stewart & Sons)
1803-mid 1830's
1, Exchange Court from 1803
1, Crampton Court from 1818
1, Dame Street from 1829
Laurence Nowlan
Charles Marsh
Charles Stewart
D. Larkin c.1845
unidentified retailer
location unknown
Laurence Nowlan
John Donegan
19, Exchange Street from 1839
25, Essex Quay from 1842
5, Ormond Quay from 1853
32, Dame Street from 1861
Succeeded by brother, Patrick. Firm survived into 20th Cent.
John Smyth
Samuel Le Bas
William Egan 1824-1986
27, Nile Street in 1824
Patrick's Street in 1851
29, Grand Parade in 1892
32, Patrick's Street in 1920

Edward Egerton
succeeded by Egerton & Pittar, 1798-99
succeeded by Egerton & Brown, 1800-03
? - 1798
9, Parliament Street
William Doyle
E. M. & Co.
unidentified retailer
location unknown
John Smyth
William Henry Finlay c.1830's
College Green
James Le Bas
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Related Irish Pages at
Dublin Date Letters & Makers' Marks

Irish Provincial Makers' Marks

Masters and Wardens of the Goldsmiths' Company of Dublin - 1637-1800

Related British Pages at
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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