For Those with an Interest in the Irish Silver Trade

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dognose
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Re: For Those with an Interest in Irish Silver

Postby dognose » Fri Feb 13, 2015 12:47 pm

An advertisement from December 1908 that contains information on an interesting piece of Irish history:

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Thomas Sinclair - Belfast - 1908


IRISH HISTORICAL RELICS for SALE

The Mace Of The Aldermen Of Skinners' Alley, Dublin.



HISTORY OF THE MACE

JAMES II. sent to Ireland a Roman Catholic Governor, one of whose first acts was to remove the Protestant Aldermen of the City of Dublin from office. The deposed Aldermen contrived to meet secretly in a room in a street known as Skinners' Alley, until the arrival of William III., who restored them to office. To celebrate this auspicious event the Protestant Aldermen agreed to form themselves into a Society known as the Aldermen of Skinners Alley, and to meet from time to time for the propagation of Protestant principles. William III. showed his interest in the movement by presenting them with a gilt mace. The society continued to exist until about the year 1880, when it was dissolved. During the last eighty years of its existence the members took a leading part in Irish politics. The mace is in fine preservation, and bears the following inscription: "This mace belongeth to the Ancient and Loyal Body the Aldermen of Skinners' Alley, which subsisted in the year 1689– they had a Protestant Governor at their head when a Popish Governor resided in the Castle of Dublin.

This unique and historical relic is offered for immediate sale at £150 nett. A certificate and full proof of its authenticity will be given by the vendor. The brass door-plate of the Society will be included.

For Fuller Particulars Apply To– THOMAS SINCLAIR, Of Sinclair's Antique Gallery, 18, Castle Lane, Belfast

N.B.–The Gallery is well worth a visit, and contains the finest collection of Antiques in the North of Ireland. Specialities :– Antique Jewellery, China, Prints and Plate.


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Re: For Those with an Interest in Irish Silver

Postby dognose » Mon Mar 09, 2015 6:23 pm

Deaths

7th October 1817

At Letterkenny, in the county of Donnegal, of an infectious fever, caught in the discharge of his duty as Inspector General of Stamp Duties, John H. Barclay.


Source: The Scots Magazine - 1817

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Re: For Those with an Interest in Irish Silver

Postby dognose » Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:27 am

As to the duty on gold and silver plate, there is payable for seven years, from the 25th of March 1772, out of all gold and silver plate which shall be made or wrought in the kingdom, 6 pence for every ounce troy, to be paid by the makers and workers thereof. Which duty is to be paid to the commissioners of the inland navigation, 11 and 12 Gco. III. c. 4.

And no goldsmith or silversmith is to expose to sale any To be assayed gold or silver plate, until it be assayed by the assay master; and if it be found conformable to the standard, then it be touched by the wardens of the company of goldsmiths, and marked with the marks used for that purpose; and then the said duty is to be paid by the person bringing it to be assayed and touched ; and the assay master is, upon receipt of the duty, to stamp or mark it with such stamp or mark as the commissioners of the revenue shall from time to time appoint, ibid.

And the assay master is to make entries, in a book, of the several quantities of plate so stamped or marked by him, and the duties received by him, &c. and once in every month to pay all the money received by him to the Vice treasurer, ibid.


Source: A Treatise of the Exchequer and Revenue of Ireland - Volume 1 - Gorges Edmond Howard

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Re: For Those with an Interest in Irish Silver

Postby scorpio » Fri May 08, 2015 11:07 am

The Taking of Snuff in early to mid 19th century Ireland

My Snuff-Box by W.P.M.: An interesting and amusing dissertation on snuff taking in Ireland published in 1834 during the reign of William IV. Well worth a read.
https://books.google.ie/books?id=ra8RAA ... ox&f=false

The author favours tin boxes but gold and silver snuff boxes also receive a mention with the following comments:

"And here, I hope, it will not be considered a digression in bestowing upon the reader the benefit of my experience as to the luxury of carrying boxes, according to the different types of snuff preferred by the connoisseur in that delicious refreshment. Those who are fond of displaying boxes of gold and of silver should confine themselves to the use of damp snuffs, such as rapee, prince's mixture, macabau, martinque, et cetera. If they attempt to confine the exalted and richly-burned flavour of the high-toast of Foot, or the concentrated aroma of Lambkin's Cork, within a gold or silver prison, they will discover that they fly the gorgeous incarceration as quickly as the true and generous patriot abandons the decorated trappings of office."


Two of the snuffs mentioned above, Rapee and Foot, are mentioned by Douglas Bennett in his book Irish Georgian Silver where he shows a silver table snuff box by Alexander Ticknell, hallmarked Dublin 1794, with divided hinged sections for each of these snuffs. Rapee was a kind of coarse snuff while Foot's high-toast snuff was a high quality brand sold by Lundy Foot, who lived near the Dublin Mountains. Regarding Lambkin's Cork snuff, another high-quality snuff made in Cork, the Lambkin Snuff and Tobacco Factory enjoyed a long history in that city dating back to at least 1730 as Lambkin Bros. & Co. and possibly even earlier until it eventually closed in 1951.

Gordon

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Re: For Those with an Interest in Irish Silver

Postby dognose » Mon May 18, 2015 6:16 am

A question raised in the House of Commons in March 1907:

Irish Hall Mark

Sir HOWARD VINCENT (Sheffield, Central): I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland under what circumstances he has already a protective tariff in Ireland against Sheffield silver, and exacts a charge of 1s. an ounce for putting thereon the Irish hall-mark, whereas in England the charge is only 1d. an ounce for putting the hallmark on Irish silver; and if he proposes during his term of office to impose like restrictions on all articles of British manufacture imported into Ireland.

Mr. BIRRELL: The hon. Gentleman has been misinformed. The matter in question does not fall within the province of any department of the Government. The duty of hall-marking silver in Ireland devolves upon the Corporation of Goldsmiths in Ireland, a body incorporated by Royal Charter in 1637. Under the Charter, the Corporation possess the right to fix the charges for hall-marking. The hon. Secretary to the Corporation informs me that in 1896 their charge for hall-marking articles manufactured in England was raised to one shilling an ounce, in order to counteract a practice, which had sprung up in certain quarters, of sending articles to Ireland to be hall-marked, and then selling them as of Irish manufacture.

Sir HOWARD VINCENT: Will the right hon. Gentleman say how the Government justify these protective duties in Ireland against Irish goods.

Mr. BIRRELL: I think not.


Source: The Parliamentary Debates - Volume CLXXI - 1907

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Re: For Those with an Interest in Irish Silver

Postby dognose » Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:08 pm

WILLIAM GURLEY OF WEXFORD


WILLIAM GURLEY, of Wexford, Ireland, afterwards of Milan, Ohio, was married to Susannah Beatty, daughter of James Beatty, Esq., of Ballycannow, Ireland, Nov. 12, 1795

Rev. William Gurley died Feb. 10, 1848, aged 90 years. His widow, Mrs. Susannah Gurley, died Sept. , 1848, aged 70 years.

Children of William Gurley and Susannah Beatty, his wife:

1. John Beatty, born Dec. 27, 1796, at Ballycannow, Ire.; died Oct I798
2. Ann Clarrissa, born Feb. 23, 1799, at Liverpool, Eng.
3. James, born Oct. 29, 1800, at Wexford, Ire.
4. Sarah, born Mar. 19, 1802, at Norwich, Conn.
5. Leonard Beatty, born Mar. 10, 1804, at Norwich, Conn.
6. Elizabeth Johnson, born April 5, 1806, at Norwich, Conn.; died April 5, 1822
7. William, born 1808, at Norwich, Conn.; died in infancy.
S. William Dempster, born July 31, 1811, at Norwich, Conn.
9. John Beatty, born Dec. 19, 1813, at Zanesville, Ohio.
10. Susan, born Aug. 31, 1816, at Zanesville, Ohio.
11. Dempster Beatty, born Oct. 31, 1821, at Milan, Ohio; died at Milan, O., Oct. 18, 1835.

Rev. William Gurley was born in Wexford, Ireland, March 12, 1757. In his youth there can be but little said, his father dying when he was but eight years old, leaving all the care of bringing up and educating the family of six children to his widowed mother. Before he was fifteen years old he had acquired a fine library of choice books — history, biography, romance. Robinson Crusoe, Gulliver among the Lilliputians, and Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress were read by him with equal interest and avidity.

At the age of sixteen years he became an apprentice to the silversmith and jewelry business. When he was some thirty years of age he commenced to carry on the business for himself in Wexford, and by his successful business he soon acquired several thousand dollars, which was chiefly invested in stock and wares.

After the suppression of the Irish Catholic rebellion in 1790, Mr. Gurley went to Dublin to purchase stock for resuming his business again. Here he remained for some days at his brother-in-law's, Mr. James Beatty, a merchant in the city. While there news of the arrival of the French at Killala, under General Hambert, reached Wexford, which so frightened Mrs. Gurley that she took her child and servant girl and went to Dublin, where her husband was. After a few weeks Mr. Gurley returned to Wexford and disposed of his property there, and then returned to Dublin. He then moved with his family to Liverpool, England, where he resided for over two years.

In the autumn of 1801 Mr. Gurley, with his family, left Liverpool, England, for New York city, where they arrived after a passage of six weeks, and then went to New London, Conn., where he remained only a short time, and then went to Norwich, Conn., where he established himself in business, and resided for about ten years.

In the fall of 1811 Mr. Gurley, with his family, emigrated to Ohio, having purchased a hundred acres of land of his brother-in-law, Mr. James Beatty of New London, Conn.

It was four o'clock in the afternoon of a pleasant day in September when Mr. Gurley, his wife, and five children entered the wagon bound for the fire lands. It was a long and tedious journey. It was late in October when Mr. Gurley with his family reached the destined place, a settlement of a few families at a spot since called Bloomingville, seven miles south from Sandusky city.

A small cabin on the edge of a prairie was obtained as the temporary residence of the family, and, poor as it was, it was a welcome retreat and shelter to the weary emigrants.

Before spring had thrown its green robe over the prairies Mr. Gurley had erected his house, one mile eastwardly from the present village of Bloomingville. It was sixteen by twenty feet, a story and a half high.

As soon as the puncheon floor had been laid and the wall "chincked," the family took possession.

Mr. Gurley had scarcely got moved into this house when, on the 12th of June of this year, war was declared with England. There was danger of being massacred by the Indians, so they removed to Zanesville, Ohio, where they resided a little over six years.

In the autumn of 1818 he exchanged his farm in Bloomingville for one two miles west of Milan, where he removed in February, 1819, and where he continued to reside the remainder of his life.

Rev. William Gurley was a rare and beautiful character. Converted early in life, he became a Methodist and a classleader. He was afterwards licensed by Rev. John Wesley as a local preacher at Wexford, Ireland. He suffered untold hardships on account of his religion during the Irish Catholic rebellion of 1798. He was in prison several weeks, and twice was sent for to be executed, and at one time was on the fatal bridge where his companions (including one of his brothers) were piked, and the bodies thrown to the river below. He escaped as by a miracle.

Rev. Mr. Gurley preached the first sermon and organized the first society west of Cleveland, Ohio, at Bloomingville, in 1811. Rev. Mr. Gurley continued to preach and teach people the way to Christ all the remainder of his life, and but few men have ever lived that were more honored and respected than was this illustrious man — Rev. William Gurley.


Source: The History and Genealogy of the Gurley Family - Albert Ebenezer Gurley, Charles Rogers, Henry Porter Andrews - 1897



In the month of October 1795, a peasant near Enniscorthy in the county of Wexford turned up with his plough four plates of solid gold, perfectly round, and of very neat wormanship; he sold them to a Mr. Gurly of Enniscorthy, silversmith, who melted two of them down and sent the other two for sale to the Earl of Charlemont, President of our Academy.

Source: The Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy - 1797

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Re: For Those with an Interest in Irish Silver

Postby dognose » Mon Dec 21, 2015 3:12 pm

An image of a massive chalice and cover and three silver cups, that form part of the plate collection belonging to the Corporation of Drogheda:

Image

The chalice stands 17" in height and is inscribed 'Ex dono prenobilis Henerici Comes Drohedagh, 1665' with the crest of Laurence Gate and family crest.

The largest cup weighs over 60 oz. and bears no inscription. The cup on the left of the image has a coat-of-arms of Drogheda and the following inscription: 'This cup partly made of an old one unfit for use given by Mr. Thomas Percival. mercht., to the Corporation of Drogheda in the year 1672.' The cup on the right is engraved with the coat-of-arms of Drogheda and the following inscription: 'This cup partly made of an old one unfit for use given by Mr. Thomas Willis to the Corporation of Drogheda.', No date.

This image was taken in 1907 when the cups were part of a display of Irish silver at the Irish International Exhibition that was held at Dublin.

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Re: For Those with an Interest in Irish Silver

Postby dognose » Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:03 am

An article regarding the National Exhibition of 1852 that was held at Cork:


SILVER PLATE AND JEWELLERY

If the reader would wish to be satisfied that the silver trade did flourish in Ireland, in other days, it is not impossible to convince him that it did. He has but to apply to some friendly jeweller and silversmith, or extensive pawn-broker, in any of our cities or large towns, and induce him to permit a peep at his store of old silver—not meaning thereby old in the sense which we use the term when we speak of old iron; but costly and beautiful articles, in a high state of preservation—the cherished heirlooms of many a proud family of historic name— that oft-times sparkled on sideboard and table amid a blaze of wax lights, and added éclat to stately banquet and glad festival. Take up any one article that most attracts your attention, from its elegance of form, its artistic beauty of design, or the workman-like skill of its execution; but do so with tenderness, for it has seen better days. Examine the workmanship, inspect it with searching and critical eye; look into the lines of the engraving, and the figures of the chasing; see how bold the design, how profuse but yet how chaste the ornament, how delicate and fine the execution; and, after you have gratified your curiosity and your taste, search for the maker's name and the hall-mark, and, ten to one, the name and mark are both Irish—genuine Irish. Alas! that what is a testimony to the former capability of our country, should also be an evidence of its late disaster. The maker's name and the Irish harp are both conclusive proofs of what was done in Ireland at one time; but these carelessly heaped-up evidences of former grandeur are a sad indication of its present decay. The potato-rot stripped the sideboard of its gorgeous ornaments, the plate-chest of its rich contents, and for a time almost put a stop to the manufacture of plate in this country. But long before the late crowning disaster glutted the shops of Dublin, Cork, Limerick, and the other large towns, with the first sad offering to the evil genius of the hour, the silver trade had greatly fallen off in Ireland A hundred years ago, it flourished in this city, as well as in Dublin; the largest and most costly articles being manufactured, as well as every description of the smaller or more ordinary article; but—and I simply mention it as a matter of history—it continued to fall away rapidly since the Union, and is now utterly extinguished in Cork, though not in Dublin, where some work is done to this day, and of an excellent description.

The amount of duty paid on gold and silver in Ireland for four years will best exemplify the extent of, as well as the falling off in, this once prosperous trade :—

1848 duty paid £1,183 17 11
1849 ............£1,016 6 10
1850 ............£865 14 1
1851 ........... £730 19 7

I understand it is now beginning to improve, the deluge of old silver having nearly wasted itself out. Besides, people are begining to have returning confidence in the position of affairs, and are again supplying themselves with articles of luxury, though far more sparingly than in other times.

Amongst the most eminent of the former manufacturers of this city, were—George Hodder, Terry and Williams, and John Nicholson. The latter flourished more than half-a-century back; but no latter than a few days since I had the satisfaction of inspecting an exquisite piece of work bearing his name. It was shewn to me by its present possessor (Mr. Hawkesworth, of the Grand Parade, Cork), who, a thorough judge himself, descanted with enthusiasm on its beauty; and not without justice, for I have never seen anything superior to it, in shape, design, or execution.

It was a chololate pot, graceful as an Etruscan cup in its outline, profuse in ornament at once fanciful and elegant, and finished in a style that would not have disgraced the cunning hand of Benvenuto Cellini. It could with great difficulty be equalled, certainly, not excelled, by any artist of the present day. The immediate spout, or mouth, is wrought in the form of an eagle's head; its centre, or swell, being ornamented with the head of a Grand Turk, most delicately chiseled; and, on the body of the article, are mingled, in beautiful confusion, dragons, dogs, birds, and flowers, with chasing of the most elaborate and elegant kind.

I may here state, that there were in this city, in the year 1800, about fifty silversmiths, and twenty goldsmiths—all first-rate workmen. Now there is not a single manufacturer.

It is scarcely possible to say why this trade has gone down so much in Ireland; but, besides the withdrawal of the duty on imported plate and jewellery, by which the home trade was protected, I should say, want of encouragement to the native manufacturer, and complete indifference on the part of the customer, or the public, as to where the required article was made, had a great deal to do with it; together with the gradual and increasing absenteeism of the Irish gentry, consequent upon the extinction of the Irish legislature. Not only have individuals been indifferent to the make of the silver used for domestic purposes—forks, spoons, tea services, salvers, breadbaskets, claret jugs, wine-coolers, &c.,—but the public, when they desire to compliment an individual, by a presentation of plate, are insensible to the injury which they inflict on their native workmen, by sending the work out of the country, and totally unconscious of the good which they might be the means of accomplishing, by insisting, as an indispensable condition, that the work should be done at home.

I believe there are no people in this world of ours more addicted to testimonials, and presentations of plate, than the Irish. Here, it is a grand centre-piece for the table—there, it is a modest salver; to-day, it is a claret jug—the next day, an ink-stand—and the day after, a tea-urn. The Protestant clergyman is now complimented with a tea-service, the Catholic priest is again presented with a chalice. In fact, there is no class of men, of a certain social standing, who is not liable, one day or other, to be made the subject of a flattering address, and the proud recipient of an appropriate testimonial—from a snuff-box up to the costly garniture of a whole sideboard. Let a judge retire from the bench—the lawyers must pass resolutions, write an address, and purchase a piece of plate. Let a member of Parliament take up any peculiar question in the house, and immediately those interested proceed to the silver-smith on behalf of their champion. Let a nobleman, or great squire, gratify his passion for the turf, by acting the welcome part of a patron of local sport, and the idea of immortalising his favorite horse, or hound, in frosted silver, is carried into practice in a hand-gallop. Let a mayor be hospitable, a magistrate be active or civil, a secretary be attentive, a chairman be patient—in fact, let anybody be anything, and he is at once made the happy victim of a suitable testimonial. Do I "write this in an idle spirit? Nothing of the kind. My meaning is obvious. I have sufficiently shewn there is still a large demand for silver plate in Ireland, and, as times improve, that demand will be still larger; and, in spite of all that I have heard said to the contrary, I believe it is quite possible, I will not say to restore the trade to its former position—for that, under all probable circumstances, seems out of the question—but to revive it considerably. My notion is this, that those who take it into their heads to pay a tribute to deserving individuals, or to compliment men because of some service, whether real or imaginary, should also remember that they could make their act the opportunity of doing good to others; and that, if the committees having the management of these matters would only insist on having the article required made in Ireland, it could and would be made there. But if there be no inquiry as to where or how it is to be done, the Irish silversmith, who receives the order, sends it on to his correspondent in London, and procures it with great facility, and certainly of a first-rate quality. The reader will at once see how this indifference, either of the individual or the public, re-acts upon the home trade and the country. The workman follows the work, and therefore goes to London, where the order is sent to be executed; whereas, were it made imperative upon the party receiving the order that the work should be done at home, the workman would either stay at home, or return home, to do it; for he would thus have the employment and remuneration he is reluctantly compelled to seek elsewhere.

There is one peculiar article—Church Plate—which is almost entirely made in Ireland, scarcely any of what is used either in Protestant or Catholic churches being imported. The beautiful church plate exhibited by Mr. Donegan of Dublin was well worthy of the best days of the trade in Ireland.

It is strictly within the limits of truth to state, that Irish jewellery, or ornaments for the person, was, at one time, of the very highest order of merit; and though there is not much made in that department at present, still it is of a superior description, and may be relied upon by the purchaser. I do not take it upon me to say that all the articles exhibited were Irish; and if not, so much to the disgrace of those who exhibited them—but if they were, they certainly reflected credit on the trade which they represented.

The exhibitors of plate and jewellery, from Dublin, were— W. Acheson—a great variety of beautiful jewellery. Thomas Bennett, a case of very beautiful articles of various kinds, including tea service, salvers, tea kettles, cups, ornaments in silver and bog-oak, &c., and a centre piece with ten inch figures designed by Kirk, the Irish artist, and representing Hibernia, Commerce, and Ceres; which article bore the Irish hall mark, and seemed, to me, to be admirably wrought. John Donegan—church plate, in gold and silver. Flavelle—masonic ornaments; also, model of the ark of the covenant, in silver. W. Broderick—various articles of jewellery. Thomas Burke—jewellery and insignia of masonic order. Thomas Forster—a frame pf gems. Waterhouse and Co.—three large cases of jewellery and plate of every description, including a splendid collection of gold and silver imitations of the ancient Irish brooches, for an account of the most splendid of which— The Royal Tara Brooch—I would refer the reader to the chapter on Irish Antiquities. West and Son—drawing of a silver mace, in progress of manufacture for the college of physicians; magnificent silver salver, carved out of the solid, in high relief; carved oak wine-cooler, lined with silver; also, a case of sumptuous jewellery. Wall and Brother—electro-plated tea-service. John Smith—exhibited specimens of electro-plated articles, including spoons, forks, sugar-tongs, tea-service, &c. Denis Connell—a great variety of bog oak ornaments, mounted in Wicklow gold and silver, and set with Irish stones. This was one of the most beautiful and interesting cases in the exhibition. Samuel Mahoods—even brooches in bog oak.

Cork—Margaret Hackett, a beautiful and varied collection of rings, chains, brooches, pins, clasps, &c., besides various articles in silver plate.
Drogheda—Thomas North, a most interesting case of electro-plated articles of every kind, including salvers (some of them but half covered, shewing the other half copper) tea service, candlesticks, spoons, forks, &c. Mr. North also exhibited an instrument of his own invention, which he terms an "electro-therapeuticon," by which the application of the galvanic current is rendered easy and certain.


Source: The Industrial Movement in Ireland: As Illustrated by the National Exhibition of 1852 - John Francis Maguire M.P., Mayor of Cork - 1853

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Re: For Those with an Interest in Irish Silver

Postby dognose » Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:33 am

Another article regarding the National Exhibition of 1852 that was held at Cork:

CLOCKS

There is but one watch manufacturer now in Ireland, while there are many first rate makers of clocks, and such clocks as cannot be surpassed in England, France, or Geneva. It is not probable that, for a long time at least, we shall have an extensive manufacture of watches in Ireland; but there is no reason, which I can see, why the clock trade should not be permanent, in spite of the deluge of American, Scotch, and English articles. It certainly is not so disastrous an instance of folly to select a clock for its case and its dial, as to chose a a wife for her face, or her dress; but it is still a great folly notwithstanding, and one into which people are daily liable to fall. As many false hearts and evil dispositions, in man and woman, are concealed beneath bland exteriors and beautiful and smiling features, so, beneath bright and burnished dials, are hid the most trumpery movements. Exterior elegance and fancical beauty are no criterion whatever by which to judge of the value of a clock; the respectability and character of the maker are the best, indeed the only, guarantee which the purchaser can have of the genuineness of the article which he buys. If the purchaser buy a clock which has not been made by the seller, but which has been imported, he, in all probability, buys one with inferior movements, such as are made by the gross in Scotland, and are turned out in a hasty manner, to meet the requirements of the trade. In many instances, these movements are so inferior, that no respectable Irish tradesman will think of selling them, at any price. Now a clock is an important article of house furniture, and the more accurate it is, the more regularly are things domestic likely to go on; for if once the clock become eccentric, in its movements, tell lies, or get sulky, and will not go, there is sure to be some danger that others will go wrong besides the clock. There are few people who can afford to buy a clock to whom time is not more or less valuable; and, therefore, when a clock is purchased for use, and not, as a mere article of furniture, for shew, care should be taken to procure the best for the money; and how is it likely that certainty can be better ensured, than by ordering it from a man of character and ability, who has a reputation to lose? I venture to say, there are no better mechanics in the world than the Irish clock makers, or who more thoroughly understand every branch of their business; and for this reason, amongst others, that, as jobbers, or repairers, they arc compelled to do almost everything in their trade; whereas the department, or division of labour, system is strictly adhered to wherever the manufacture is carried on extensively; each man having his specific portion to do, and no more. I therefore say to the housekeeper, if you desire to have a clock by which your household may be regulated, be sure you do not allow yourself to be fascinated by a handsome case, or caught by an attractive dial, or a burnished pendulum of graceful form; but go to some one who can make you a good movement—which is the life of the mechanism; and he, having a regard for his character, as a skilful mechanic, will not fail to do you justice. To the merchant, the solicitor, and the man in business, it is unnecessary to speak of the importance of possessing an accurate and unfailing time-piece; the missing of a post, or failure in the keeping of an appointment, is an evil of too serious a nature to be compensated for by the remembrance that you have got "such a bargain of a clock." I am far from saying that there are not as good clock-makers in England as in any part of the world; I know there are; but I say this, that where a manufacturer makes for an extensive trade—makes, in fact, to sell—the article is frequently turned out with such rapidity as to preclude the possibility of attention to a variety of minor details, which, when attended to, produce the best result in the permanent regularity and enduring powers of the clock. And to these apparently minor, but really important matters, the skilful and conscientious mechanist dovotes his best attention.

The most ancient piece of mechanism in this city, of any size, is the clock that formerly stood in the Exchange, Castle-street, the front entrance to which is now the entrance to the splendid concerns of the Queen's Old Castle Company. This clock was made by Richard Deeble, Corke, and bears date 1709; and, considering the time at which it was made, and the improvements in mechanics since then, it is a wonderfully finished piece of work. There is also a small clock by the same maker, in the present Council Chamber, as well made as clock need be; shewing that the house clock could be almost as well made in those days as in the present, although the principle on which it was constructed was not so perfect as it is now.

Cotemporary with Richard Deeble, Corke, there flourished in the good city of Limerick a celebrated clock maker, as the following touching inscription on his tomb will shew:—

Here lieth little Samuel Barrington,
That great winder, maker, taker,
Of famous Citie Clocks, and chime maker.
He made his own time go early and later,
But now he's returned to God his Creator.
Ye 19th November then he ceased to be,
And to his memory this here is placed
By his son Ben. A.D., 1724.

From the time of Richard Deeble to within the last twenty years, no works of any importance have been executed in Cork, if I except the turret clock in the Killarney Church, which was made some forty years ago, to the order of the Rev. Arthur Hyde, by William Bagley, and which may be seen by traveller and tourist, to this day, on the face of the same old tower. It is true, a number of small clocks have been made by the successors of Deeble—the Ackens, father and son, who were superior tradesmen for their advantages—and also, by Ross and Co.; but, for the want of greater practice and opportunity, the turret clocks constructed by them were of the same class and style as those made by Deeble. However, within the last twenty years, the attention of various public bodies in Cork has been directed to the better regulation of time; and the liberality of one of those bodies has afforded a fitting field for the display of the genius and mechanical skill of a local tradesman—Mr. James Mangan—whose work has been pronounced, by the best judges, to be equal to any in the world, and whose monster clock, in the Church of St. Ann's Shandon, is one of the largest, if not the largest, in Europe. His clock on the Corn Market—in which, with the adjoining buildings, the National Exhibition was held—has five dials, one inside the building, and one on each of the four exterior sides of the turret. But his grand work is the Shandon Clock, erected by order of the Corporation, and which, as I stated, is one of the largest ever constructed in this or any other Kingdom, and as large as the building in which it is erected would admit of. Of this the reader may form an idea from the following details—

The dials, four in number, are fifteen feet eight inches in diameter, the wall or face of the tower not admitting of a larger size. The four sets of hands, with their work, weigh five hundred weight. The frame of the clock, which contains the work, is fourteen feet six inches long, four feet wide, and five feet high, and weighs, with its machinery, two tons and a half. The striking hammer weighs a hundred pounds, and falls through a space of twelve inches—which shews the great power of the mechanical force exerted in the striking part of the clock; and the chime hammers, four in number, weigh each twenty-six pounds. The striking work is made on the repeating principle; the lockings on a new and improved plan, of Mr. Mangan's invention; and the escapement is dead beat, with jewelled pallets. The pendulum is fourteen feet long, the ball weighing three hundred weight. It may be remarked that there are but two dials to the great clock of St. Paul's, in London, which are a few inches larger, because of the greater space on the face of the turrets of that building; while the Shandon clock has four dials.

That this is a work of extraordinary magnitude, these dimensions are a sufficient proof; but that the whole machinery is of the very highest order, I have had the opinions of those whose judgment, to say the least, was not biased by over partiality. Amongst the many evidences of Mr. Mangan's mechanical invention, is a machine for cutting teeth in the wheels of clocks, by which his great work was materially facilitated. This machine was exhibited by the inventor. Mr. Mangan's fame is not merely local; it has extended North and South, East and West; and many of his turret clocks may be seen in various parts of Ireland.

The largest turret clock exhibited, was that made by Mr. Samuel Haynes of Cork, who, some time since, made the clocks for the termini of the Cork and Eandon Railway. The exterior of the clock was remarkably handsome, and the movement has been considered, by competent judges, to be of a very superior kind Mr. Haynes, junior, exhibited a beautiful evidence of his mechanical ability—a model clock, entirely cut out of ivory, with the exception of the spring and the centre pinion. The difficulty of this work will be at once understood by those who know how hard it is to adapt a substance of the kind to machinery, it being so brittle, and therefore so liable to break in those parts where greater delicacy is required. This was, however, overcome by skill ajid patience; and the beautiful little model tower clock kept time with the largest of its neighbours in the Exhibition.
The unanimous opinion of those to whom I have spoken with respect to this department in the National Exhibition, was, that the eight-day chronometer exhibited by its maker, John Sellby of Dublin, was one of the most perfect pieces of work which they had ever seen. It is scarcely necessary to say that I sought information only from those who were competent to give it; and their opinion was what I state, that they never saw—that is, examined and inspected—a more beautiful piece of mechanism; which may be described as an adaptation of the chronometer escapement principle to the ordinary chimney clock.

The other Dublin exhibitors of clocks were—William Broderick, who exhibited three large hall, and three smaller clocks, all of considerable merit. Thomas Brunker, a variety of clocks, including a small regulator, jewelled movement, pendulum maintaining power, and several improvements; also, a vibrating clock, that goes for three weeks, and strikes hours and half hours. John Jameson, a regulator clock, of which I heard much said in commendation. Daniel O'Connell, a horizontal dial, geographical clock, and perpetual almanack. George Dolbyn, a regulator clock, compensated pendulum also, two time pieces.

The other Cork exhibitors were—William Hackett, a mechanic of considerable skill, and Thomas Blundell. The former exhibited a regulator clock; and the latter, a skeleton time piece, both admirably put out of hands.


Source: The Industrial Movement in Ireland: As Illustrated by the National Exhibition of 1852 - John Francis Maguire M.P., Mayor of Cork - 1853

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Re: For Those with an Interest in Irish Silver

Postby dognose » Tue May 10, 2016 12:42 pm

BELFAST - CONSUMPTION AND TRADE

There are no manufactories in this consular district of electroplated ware or silverware. Some of the retail dealers in silverware keep a limited number of workmen who make up small special articles.

The amount of silver and plated ware received by the trade in this consular district, as shown by the Belfast harbor commissioners' report for the year 1901, was 68 tons, all of which was manufactured in England, at Sheffield, Birmingham, and London.

IMPORTS

There are no importations of plated or silver ware from foreign countries except Germany, from which a small amount of silverware is imported.

William W. Touvelle, Consul

Belfast, March 18,1902


Source: United States Congressional Serial Set - 1902

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Re: For Those with an Interest in Irish Silver

Postby dognose » Wed Jun 01, 2016 3:05 pm

Silver Hall Marked Medal of the Irish Brigade, 1798-9

By ROBERT DAY, F.S.A.

This medal is of engraved silver, with London Hall Marks, 1798-9, oval, and measures two inches in length.

Obverse—The harp, crowned, and "G.R." within a wreath of laurel.

Reverse—"Irish Brigade. Colonel Commandant, C. W. De Serrant. A mark of merit presented to QuarterMr. T. Somerfield, for long and faithful service as a soldier."

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The medal has a flat tapering hall-marked loop, through which a silver chain, five inches long, passes, and secures the medal to the tunic. This historic medal is intimately associated with the Irish Brigade, who, as the very flower of the Irish race, had so long and so bravely fought under the French Standard.

The three regiments of Dillon, Berwick and Walsh, which had been formed in 1689 out of the Jacobite refugees, and replenished by the many Irish Catholics who fled from Ireland during the penal laws, continued to the very eve of the Resolution. No regiment in the French Army had for a hundred years a higher record of honourable service. They were Irish or of Irish origin, and to a large extent representatives of distinguished Catholic families. Lecky says:—"There was a time when such men would have borne a foremost part in a French expedition for emancipating Ireland from English rule. But the same desperate fidelity with which their fathers had sacrificed home and country and fortune for their faith and for their King still continued, and the children of the exiles of 1689 were now themselves enduring for the same cause proscription, confiscation and exile." With few exceptions they ranged themselves against the Revolution and for the Monarchy, but in September, 1794, the Duke of Portland invited the Duke of Fitzjames into the English service with the regiment of the Marshall de Berwick and the Irish Brigade, on the same footing as it had been in the service of his Christian Majesty, Louis XVI., and he stated that it was the intention of the King to add a fourth Regiment to the Irish Brigade, and to place it under the command of Colonel O'Connell, one of the most distinguished officers in the old French Army. Daniel O'Connell, of Derrynane, was his nephew.

The Irish Brigade was disbanded in 1798. One of its old regiments was commanded by Colonel Charles Walsh, Viscount De Serrant, the giver of the medal to his Quarter Master, Mr. Somerfield, whose name appears in the Army List of 1805 as Captain T. Somerfield, 83rd Regiment.

This Medal has recently been acquired by the writer.


Source: Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society - January-March 1908

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Re: For Those with an Interest in Irish Silver

Postby dognose » Mon Jun 06, 2016 4:01 am

Apropos of certain extensive forgeries of ten-pound notes in Dublin, by which so many respectable merchants were defrauded, the following ingenious mode of getting rid of a forged note may not be uninteresting. A few years ago, on the afternoon of a certain day, whilst a well-dressed man was looking into a jeweller’s plate-glass window in College Green, Dublin, and leaning half on the glass, half on the stone pillar, he received from an evil-designed passer-by a tremendous push, which sent his shoulder through the glass, but without injuring him in the least. The proprietor, with some of his assistants, rushed out, seized the unfortunate man, pulled him into the shop, and insisted that he should pay the damage done, which was estimated at nine pounds odds. The man protested—said it was no fault of his — that he had been knocked through the window against his will, and pay he would not under any circumstances. A policeman was called in, who seemed a little doubtful as to whether he ought to take the offender in charge; but the proprietor would hear of no compromise between paying and being removed to prison. The policeman therefore informed the offender that he must accompany him to the police-office, where an inquiry would be made into the circumstances of the breakage. The man still protested strongly, and point-blank refused to pay. He said that he had occasion to leave by the mail-steamer to Holyhead for London in the evening, and vowed that if they attempted to keep him it would cost them ten times the sum demanded; and characterized their action as monstrous and unjust. But the proprietor would take no denial; so seeing no other course open, the man agreed to pay the nine pounds odds under protest, but threatened a speedy vengeance for their insolence. He tendered a hundred pound note, and received his change of ninety pounds some shillings and toot his departure, raging like a madman at the unfair treatment he had been sujected to. The hundred-pound note was afterwards found to be a forged one, and the clever scoundrel had succeeded in getting over ninety pounds for it by an ingenious trick worthy of a better cause.

Source: The Living Age - 1880

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Re: For Those with an Interest in the Irish Silver Trade

Postby dognose » Wed Aug 03, 2016 4:59 am

The Irish International Exhibition

Ireland's forthcoming International Exhibition, which will be open from May to October, 1907, will be the biggest undertaking of its kind ever organized by Irishmen, completely dwarfing any of the expositions previously held. Work on the exhibit buildings has gone on so rapidly that they will be finished some months before the day set for opening, May 1, 1907. Machinery Hall is already completed. It is believed that 3,000,000 people will attend the exposition during the time it is open.

Foreign countries, recognizing the opportunities which the exposition will afford, are making active preparations to send exhibits. France is preparing a French section which will equal that at the exposition at Liege; Russia has appointed an agent to make necessary arrangements for a large exhibit; Italy, Canada and Australia and other countries will be well represented.

Exhibits will be classified in 19 sections, special sections being devoted to fine arts, arts and crafts, liberal arts and manufactures.

Opposite the main entrance will be the principal building, consisting of a central octagonal court, 215 feet in diameter, surrounded by a corridor capable of accommodating 7,000 people. Around this will be grouped the pavilions for the British, foreign and colonial exhibits. The machinery
building will be 900 by 100 feet, giving a floor area of 92,000 square feet. The fine art gallery, one of the features of the exposition, will have 30,000 square feet, and several other buildings ranging from 10,000 to 50,000 square feet are in course of erection. Altogether, the exposition will cover 52 acres of ground.

The executive committee expects to obtain from the various railroads, steamship companies, etc., special terms for the conveyance of goods to and from the exposition. Motor power will be supplied to exhibitors at a moderate price. The charge for space will be $1 per square foot, with a minimum of $25. A sliding scale of rebates on space rents will be allowed in order to accommodate large exhibitors. Forms of application for space and power may be obtained from the secretary, James Shanks, Ballsbridge, Dublin, Ireland.


Source: The Jewelers' Circular - 7th November 1906

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Re: For Those with an Interest in the Irish Silver Trade

Postby dognose » Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:59 am

Marks of the Dublin Assay Office taken from The Book of Hall Marks, Or, Manual of Reference for the Gold and Silversmith By Alfred Lutschaunig - 1872:

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Re: For Those with an Interest in the Irish Silver Trade

Postby dognose » Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:52 pm

THE FIVEMILETOWN INDUSTRIES

Fivemiletown, Co. Tyrone


Cottage industries have flourished in Fivemiletown for several years under the direction of Mrs. Montgomery, of Blessingbourne, who has organised embroidery and sewing classes for girls. Mrs. Montgomery determined to extend the scope of her work, and to find occupation to which the young men as well as the young women of Fivemiletown could devote their spare hours. She went to London in 1891, and placed herself under the tuition of a lady teacher in repousse metal work, who had been recommended to her by the Home Arts and Industries Association, and by the Spring of 1892 she was able to start an art metal work class at Fivemiletown itself. She was at first the only teacher, but was soon most ably seconded by Mr. Wilson, the manager of the Fivemiletown branch of the Northern Bank, whose children also showed an extraordinary aptitude for the work.

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The Home Arts and Industries Association supplied some of the designs, others were furnished by Mr. H. de F. Montgomery himself, others again were worked up by Mr. John Williams, their main characteristics being flowery forms of a bold, conventional treatment, which were mainly derived from Persian and Gothic sources. Some again were adapted from old fifteenth century patterns, others were original. The result was that the Fivemiletown Class made a very creditable show at the Home Arts and Industries Exhibition at the Albert Hall in June, 1893, and succeeded in winning a gold star for designs by Mr. Montgomery, and another for workmanship earned by Mr. Patrick Roche. This, was, however, but a beginning, and the reputation thus earned by the Fivemiletown Class stirred up strangers to take an interest in its further development. Mr. John Williams, then Art Teacher to the Surrey County Council, now head of the Art Department at the Northampton Institute, in Finsbury, spent part of his autumn holidays that year at Fivemiletown, where he was able to enjoy the beauties of the Clogher Valley in the morning, and to devote his evenings to developing the artistic faculties of the workers. His visits, repeated in 1894 and 1896, have done much to raise the standard of the work to a high pitch of artistic excellence.

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Some examples of the art metal work of Fivemiletown are illustrated in the accompanying plates.

The products of the Fivemiletown Industries have elicited the warmest praise at many exhibitions in 1895 and 1896, more especially at the Home Arts and Industries Exhibition at the Albert Hall, and the Exhibition of Arts and Industries, held by the Royal Dublin Society at the same time as the Dublin Horse Show at Ballsbridge. One of the judges at the latter exhibition gave expression to the opinion that he had seldom seen modern work approach so high a standard of excellence.


Source: Ireland - Industrial and Agricultural - 1902

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Re: For Those with an Interest in the Irish Silver Trade

Postby dognose » Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:49 am

THE FIVEMILETOWN INDUSTRIES

Fivemiletown, Co. Tyrone


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FIVEMILETOWN, CO. TYRONE.—The metal repousse work established here some years ago as a cottage industry has attained a degree of artistic excellence which seems to prove that the Irish have not altogether lost their ancient skill in the working of metal. It was founded by Mrs. Montgomery, of Blessingbourne, in the hope of giving the village lads employment for their spare hours, and of relieving the poverty of the place; she herself taught them in a class, with the help of a local bank manager and an occasional visit from Mr. John Williams, then art teacher to the Surrey County Council.

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The pupils made rapid progress, and their work soon earned warm praise at the Home Arts and Crafts Exhibitions at the Albert Hall, as well as gold stars for design and workmanship. Copper, brass, and pewter are used with admirable taste for the various things made by the lads, ranging from mirror-frames to fenders, and recently silver has been added. Patrick Roche, a member whose workmanship has already won distinction, obtained a prize at a lately held Dublin exhibition for the silver potpourri casket illustrated, the stem of which is set with enamels. The growth of the industry marks a corresponding development of refinement and material comfort amongst the workers, the elevating influence of such a handicraft being especially marked in Ireland, where it makes all the difference between wretchedness and contentment.

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Source: The International Studio - March 1907


Known Craftsmen of the Fivemiletown Class:

Thomas Adars, Robert Armstrong, Henry Bisby, M. Carruth, Samuel Carruth, Thomas Curran, Mathew Reid, Robert Reid, Frank Roche, Patrick Roche, John Wilson, John Hugh Wilson, Malcolm Wilson.

It is thought that silverwares were produced as from 1906.

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Re: For Those with an Interest in the Irish Silver Trade

Postby dognose » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:35 am

THE FIVEMILETOWN INDUSTRIES

Fivemiletown, Co. Tyrone


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The mirror frame in repousse' copper which is illustrated on this page, was shown at the recent exhibition of the Home Arts and Industries Association at the Royal Albert Hall. It was made in the class at Fivemiletown, Co. Tyrone, in which evening instruction is given to thirty men, women, and girls, in repoussé metal work and hand-made embroidery. The Fivemiletown class is under the management of Mrs. Montgomery, of Blessingbourne. Some capital work has been done by its members, and their stall at the Royal Albert Hall was a striking feature at the exhibition of last May. On that occasion one of the Fivemiletown exhibits, a newspaper rack in repousse' copper, was purchased by the Princess of Wales, who has always taken a kindly interest in the prosperity of the Home Arts and Industries Association.

Source: The Art Journal - 1897

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Re: For Those with an Interest in the Irish Silver Trade

Postby dognose » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:20 am

Antique Irish Gold Work

The gold antiquities in the British Museum illustrative of British history, and those in the museum of Trinity College, Dublin, contain many fine examples of ancient Irish work. The principal Irish antiquities of gold that remain to us may be classed under ten heads, as follows :

Crowns :—A magnificent gold ornament, resembling in shape a helmet or skull cap, found in County Tipperary in 1692, now in the Royal Irish Academy collection, which has been called a crown for want of a better name, specimen is unique, but a somewhat similar gold cap is described by Valiancy in 1783.

Minds or lunulae :—These elegant ornaments may be described as flat, crescent shaped plates of gold, with a small plate at each extremity ; they have been discovered on frequent occasions, and the surface is frequently enriched with minute and elaborate designs and ornamentations.

Diadems :—The gorgeous and elaborate ornaments have also been frequently found, and are, undoubtedly, the most magnificent specimens of antique gold work to be found in the world. Like the lunulas, these were probably head ornaments, and their great antiquity is shown by the fact that they are not mentioned in any of the known annals.

Gorgets :—These were probably collars of gold, such as Malachi “won from the proud invader.” Some of them exhibit the peculiar herring-bone ornamentation characteristic of Keltic work.
Necklaces of gold and amber were not uncommon in Ireland, and must have constituted unique and splendid ornaments. The amber probably came from the Baltic shores.

Earrings or Unasca:—The ancient Irish earrings were not unlike those used in modern days.

Armillae :—Armlets and bracelets would appear to have been extensively used. They usually consist of rings of gold, not quite closed, and the early annals state that royal princes bestowed rings of gold on poets, philosophers and warriors, and that tribute was frequently paid in similar ornaments.

Fibulae :—There has been some difference of opinion as to the use of these peculiarly shaped gold ornaments, but the theory that they were used as fasteners for cloaks would appear to be the most reasonable one. The fibulae vary greatly in size, weighing from seven ounces up to the extraordinary weight of thirty-three ounces.
Torques must be considered as a distinctive and common form of decoration among the ancient Irish ; but we know that they were similarly used by the Egyptians, Persians, and Gauls. They in shape consist of twisted bands, and, according to their size, were worn round the finger, in the hair, round the neck or waist. In the celebrated statue, “The Dying Gladiator,” there is a torque around the neck, as also in the exquisite bronze statue of “ Mercury ” in the British Museum.

King Money:— It is probable that many of the circular ornaments already described were used as a sort of money, but there are certain small gold rings whose size would preclude their use for anything else, unless indeed, for portions of chains.
The composition of these gold ornaments varies from 18 to 21 karats fine.


Source: The Jewelers' Circular and Horological Review - 29th May 1895

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Re: For Those with an Interest in the Irish Silver Trade

Postby dognose » Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:35 pm

Examples of Irish import marks:

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1927

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1927

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1927

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1935

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1940

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1943

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1949

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1975

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1977

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1978

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Re: For Those with an Interest in the Irish Silver Trade

Postby dognose » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:49 pm

MARK FALLON

Galway


An example of what is thought to be the the work and mark of Mark Fallon of Galway:

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Member airgeadoir wrote:

It looks like an early eighteenth century Galway ring by the maker Mark Fallon.

See: viewtopic.php?f=21&t=50612

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