sgian dubh maker's mark question

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tmgregg
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Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2020 5:10 pm

sgian dubh maker's mark question

Postby tmgregg » Sat Mar 07, 2020 6:08 pm

This sgian dubh has silver sheath fittings, and I can see a J.R.&S mark, along with what appear to be crude Edinburgh marks. Because I am new to the subject, I'm not sure how to interpret the other marks, or a lack of marks. I did see the silvercollection.it listing for JR&S on spoons by James Rettie & Son, Edinburgh, but the mark is not identical. Their other listing, of J.R&S is "not identified", and the mark is also not quite the same.
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I appreciate any thoughts. Confirm it's an Edinburgh assay? Thoughts on whether this is Rettie, or someone else? I don't see anything I'd call a date mark, but is there any other information as to when it was made or stamped?

Thanks,
Tim

silvermakersmarks
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Re: sgian dubh maker's mark question

Postby silvermakersmarks » Sat Mar 07, 2020 6:33 pm

Hi and welcome to the forum.

Although the hallmark looks peculiar I think that it is a genuine Edinburgh mark which has been poorly struck and/or damaged in some way with the mark at the top in an oval punch being, originally, the date letter. I cannot work out what it might have been but this punch shape was in use from 1856 to 1905. From 1856 to 1889 there was also a duty mark which is not present in your picture. So it is likely that it dates from 1890 to 1905. I have previously seen this mark on a couple of items dated 1893 and 1896. Unfortunately our main reference for Edinburgh makers' marks does not show this J.R.&S mark but I also think it is possibly that of J Rettie & Son of Aberdeen (not Edinburgh).

Phil

tmgregg
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2020 5:10 pm

Re: sgian dubh maker's mark question

Postby tmgregg » Mon Mar 09, 2020 10:00 am

Many thanks for your reply. It is very possible that this item was acquired by my great grandparents within the timeframe you mentioned, or received it as a gift: "... from 1890 to 1905". They traveled extensively in GB and Europe, and the family is of Scottish descent (Forbes, hence Aberdeen makes some sense). It came to me from my grandparents without any history. Despite the silver sheath fittings and silver plated blade, it seems of fairly cheap construction: the pommel fitting is clearly plated brass, there was a spot on the blade where the edge had rolled, and the bolster between blade and handle is silver, but flimsy and loose.
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Maybe just a souvenir, but it has more sentimental value with this date and likely provenance. Thanks,

Tim


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