The Earliest Known Cork Maker's Mark?

PHOTOS REQUIRED - marks + item
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The Earliest Known Cork Maker's Mark?

Postby Aguest » Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:56 pm

An excerpt from "The Rose Of Dundee," an article on the internet, so this is not my assertion which might need verification:

"Cork Silver prior to 1730- The earliest making was a traditional craft in a settled society. The earliest surviving silver items of Cork origin are ecclesiastical, and were made for, and presented by pious donors who usually inscribed their names upon the items. Amongst these is the ‘Alsona Miaghe’ chalice presented to the Catholic Church by a member of the Meade family in 1598. This chalice is particularly interesting as it bears upon its stem a punch in the form of opposed ‘c’s’, which is possibly the earliest known Cork maker’s mark."

Now here is the spoon that I found along with another spoon from Cork (see above post the "I pellet W" mark) :

Image

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I often jump to absurd conclusions, but could it be possible that the "CS" mark here is the same "punch in the form of opposed 'c's' , which is possibly the earliest known Cork maker's mark" or am have I simply jumped to another absurd conclusion?

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Re: The Earliest Known Cork Maker's Mark?

Postby Aguest » Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:13 pm

Here is an enlarged Maker's Mark:

Image

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Re: The Earliest Known Cork Maker's Mark?

Postby Aguest » Thu Nov 10, 2016 3:23 am

Ok, that last pic didn't help very much ::: But one thing it does show is that the shape of the "S" in the hallmark is very similar to the shape of the "S" in the Monogram :::

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Re: The Earliest Known Cork Maker's Mark?

Postby agphile » Thu Nov 10, 2016 5:06 am

I'm no expert on Irish silver but the style of the spoon, Hanoverian rattail, points to early 18th century, not late 16th. Seems unlikely that the same mark was in use for over 100 years. I think the coincidence of initials is just that, a coincidence.

To me, opposed initials suggest a different alignment from the normal, but the form of the item is the more important when it comes to dating.

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Re: The Earliest Known Cork Maker's Mark?

Postby Aguest » Thu Nov 10, 2016 5:10 am

If anyone is in Cork and happens to see this Chalice, could you perhaps take a pic of the "CS" mark on the stem? This might earn you an indulgence :::

Image

Recently it was exhibited in a museum retrospective of the history of Cork Silver, but I am unsure of its actual present location in Cork :::

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Re: The Earliest Known Cork Maker's Mark?

Postby Aguest » Thu Nov 10, 2016 7:40 am

Yes, the two objects are over 100 years apart in style, I agree ::: I just thought that perhaps a few of the objects in that Cork Church were marked "CS" which somehow designated them "Cork Silver" as being special objects that belonged to the entire community and not necessarily a hallmark of a particular silversmith ::: This spoon doesn't seem ecclesiastical, though, so maybe that is wrong as well and it is just a coincidence :::

I still think these are provincial marks, and somehow I found a collection of provincial spoons with details including Hanoverian, rat-tail, dog-nose, trefid, and fancy back :::

If anyone has seen this particular mark, feel free to chime in so we can move this thread to the appropriate sub-forum if it turns out not to be Cork?

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Re: The Earliest Known Cork Maker's Mark?

Postby scorpio » Fri Nov 11, 2016 11:29 am

I think you mean an excerpt from the Rose of Tralee (website) rather than Rose of Dundee!

The Alsona Miaghe chalice is in the Cloyne Diocesan Centre, Cobh, Co. Cork according to A History of the Medieval Diocese of Cloyne. I've no idea if it's possible to view it but you can contact the centre at 021-4811430 (00353-21-4811430 from outside Ireland) or info@cloynediocese.ie . Maybe someone there would take a photo of the mark mentioned on that website. The authors of Cork Silver and Gold say the chalice is unmarked:
No maker's mark. MARKS: None.

It's actually 11 years (2005) since the chalice was exhibited.

The Hanoverian pattern of spoon is only seen in Ireland from 1710 and there is no mention of any maker with those initials.

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Re: The Earliest Known Cork Maker's Mark?

Postby Aguest » Fri Nov 11, 2016 12:06 pm

Thank you for the information. I suppose I could e-mail or call them to figure out what this "C.S" mark might mean.
Strange that one article would mention a mark while another book would say the chalice is unmarked.

All other possible ideas about this strange "C.S" mark would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: The Earliest Known Cork Maker's Mark?

Postby Aguest » Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:31 pm

I sent an e-mail to the center, so hopefully they will be able to confirm or deny this "CS In Opposing Letters" stamp on the stem of the chalice.
Maybe the author of the article was referring to another chalice in the Cork ecclesiastical center?

At the very least, the discovery of this spoon will help scholars know for certain about the hallmark (or lack of hallmark) on the chalice.

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Re: The Earliest Known Cork Maker's Mark?

Postby Aguest » Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:39 am

This could be a colonial American maker named "CALEB SHIELDS." I am leaning towards it.

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Re: The Earliest Known Cork Maker's Mark?

Postby Aguest » Mon Nov 14, 2016 9:36 am

::: This spoon is slightly too early for Caleb Shields, and the hallmark of Caleb Shields is in a box and not conjoined circles :::

So, the mystery continues.

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Charles Simpson Spoon (1713-1749)?

Postby Aguest » Wed Dec 14, 2016 10:10 am

The best I could find would be an unknown silversmith from Boston whose mark has never been recorded, and this silversmith is Charles Simpson of Boston who was born 1713 and died in 1749. An expert I spoke with said that the "conjoined circle" motif was common in New England and this expert has been compiling a list of some unknown New England silversmiths of the 1700s (18th century).

There is no recorded mark, but the style of the spoon and the style of the hallmark makes Charles Simpson of Boston the best of all possible worlds.

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Re: The Earliest Known Cork Maker's Mark?

Postby Argentum2 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:45 pm

Have you checked Patricia Kane's Colonial Massachusetts Silversmiths and Jewelers: A Biographical Dictionary Based on the Notes of Francis Hill Bigelow and John Marshall Phillips?

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Re: The Earliest Known Cork Maker's Mark?

Postby Aguest » Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:16 am

No, I haven't checked that book as I do not have access to it.

I bought a large silver spoon collection from a very old man who had these spoons in a box in the attic. The rubber bands were so old they just crumbled off the spoons. There was a rat-tail spoon from Germany, a few pieces of English provincial silver, and then a large collection of colonial american rat-tail spoons by various makers from Boston and Rhode Island and Connecticut. I had only seen one rat-tail spoon in person before this, and here I was looking at dozens of rat-tail spoons by various makers from Boston and Rhode Island. Many of the spoons were by the apprentices of William Cowell, but there was one that I could not identify, the (C)(S) in conjoined circles, so after a lot of research I just figured it was Charles Simpson of Boston who was also an apprentice of William Cowell but nobody has ever seen a piece of his silver, apparently, unless it is described in this book which you reference.

I'm guessing it is Charles Simpson of Boston. It kind of looks like the hallmark styles of William Cowell and Rufus Greene, to me at least, but it is only a pair of conjoined circles and a bit more simple and elegant. A researcher who is compiling many unknown marks of New England silversmiths told me he has noticed the conjoined circle motif in many of the marks that he has encountered, but his research is unpublished at this point and he keeps his personal research private so really I'm not sure if I should even be mentioning this research.

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Re: The Earliest Known Cork Maker's Mark?

Postby airgeadoir » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:12 am

I am coming rather late to this topic discussion but I can shed light on the mark on the Alsona Miagh chalice. It is in the form of opposed Cs and not CS. It is marked once on the polygonal stem of the chalice immediately below the knop. It does not credibly form part of any decoration scheme and at the time of cataloguing the exhibition it was felt that it could not be asserted with sufficient certainty that it is in fact a maker's mark, or device, and thus it was considered more accurate to say the piece bears no maker's mark.

John


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