Scottish Maker's In the New Chester Mark Book

By Edward Daw

The new book by the late Canon Ridgeway and Mr Priestly, published by the Antique Collector's Club is of value to Scottish silver enthusiasts for two reasons.

Firstly, as the earliest Scottish maker's mark in the book is 1880 and all but nine of the fifty-five Scottish resident makers were from Glasgow and Edinburgh. Many marks can be assigned to makers who would otherwise be 'unknown' as the Day Books for Edinburgh are missing between 1890 and 1904. Secondly, the provincial makers are of interest. For example Ferguson and Macbean (Inverness) recorded a mark nine years earlier than their entry at Birmingham in 1903. Alexander Ritchie's mark (IONA) was already well known, but the marks for the Kilmarnock (x1) and Stirling (x1) makers were not.

The five variations of marks recorded by William Dunningham and Co (Aberdeen 1909) are of interest, as it was previously assumed that five variations must have included other makers.

The marks for Rattray and Co (Dundee 1935) are of interest. A lozenge around R and Co probably because two other makers were previously registered with identical marks to the 'old' Rattray and Co marks.

Finally three new provincial makers are identified, 'JHD' and 'JY' (Aberdeen) and 'RK' (Dundee). Interestingly the two later were tobacconists and one is left wondering what silver items they sold!

N.B. Since writing the above I have learnt that Rattray and Co of Dundee closed in January of this year, after one hundred and fifty years of business.


The Finial, March/April 2004

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