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 Kelly c.1810
4, Cole Alley,
Castle Street,
Richard Sawyer
William Law
Succeeded by William Law & Son as from 1815
1766 - c. late 1820's
20, Cole Alley, Castle Street from 1766
1 & 2, Sackville Street from 1798
William Ward
Tudor & Whitford
Thomas Townsend
James Scott
Thomas Farnell (Famel)
James Le Bas
Richard Steel Lee
66, Abbey Street
John Smyth
Laurence O'Hagan
late 18th/early 19th C.
Samuel Green (Cork)
Charles Marsh Jr. c.1850's - 1860's
30, Sackville Street Lower
John Smyth
William Mooney c.1820-c.1840
32, Capel St.
James Le Bas
William Morgan
1796 - 1839
12, Upper Ormond Quay from 1796
105, Grafton Street from 1815
18, North Earl Street from 1827
37, Marlborough Street from 1832
39, Henry Street from 1833
53, Mary Street from 1835

Thomas Morpie 1829-1833
9, Essex Quay from 1829
34, Lower Sackville St. from 1830
Samuel Neville
Michael Mullen
68, Dame Street
James Keating
William Cummins
Matthew West
succeeded by West & Son (c.1825)
Skinner Row
Philip Weekes
Thomas Townsend
Tudor & Whitford
Richard Whitford
RW over CE
John Egan
Christopher Eades
Patrick Moore
Robert Neill
R. Neill & Sons
John Ross & James Neill
James Neill
Sharman D. Neill

23/25, High Street
6, Donegall Place Belfast
Samuel Neville
William Cummins
John Egan
John Nickln
Joshua Buckton
Christopher Cummins Jr.
John Smyth
Pim Brothers
(department store)
75/85, South Great George Street
John Smyth
Edward Polland
10, Hudson Street from c.1875
108, Dover Street from 1880
18, High Street from 1801
mark from a silverplate piece
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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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