Category Archives: Antique Irish Silver

All about antique Irish silver and its hallmarks. Articles about famous or interesting pieces of silver, rare and unusual items which have passed through our shop, and the people and personalities who make these wonderful items.

The Man who Stole the Crown Jewels

One of the most audacious jewel thefts in history happened in 1671, when an Irishman called Thomas Blood attempted to steal the crown jewels from the Tower of London. Blood was a Meathman, born there in 1618, the son of a prosperous blacksmith. He fought against Charles I, and was awarded a large estate in […]

The Albert Freethy Whistle

It is rare to find many links between the worlds of rugby and antiques, but this month’s World Cup in England does just that, with a quadrennial tradition connected to the very first international between England and New Zealand. The Gil Evans whistle is an otherwise unremarkable whistle which is kept at the New Zealand Rugby Museum in […]

Irish Silver Date Letters

Hallmarks are authenticating marks struck on most silver items produced or offered for sale in Ireland. Since 1637 the Assay Office in Dublin Castle has been the only body with the authority to perform this task. The marks serve several functions: * they verify that the item is of the correct quality. In Ireland, sterling […]

Rare Claddagh ring by Richard Joyce

We have just acquired this gold Claddagh Ring made by Richard Joyce of Galway circa 1700 which is about the time of the origin of the Irish Claddagh ring. Claddagh was a fishing village on the Western edge of Galway city in Ireland. Richard Joyce was very young when he embarked on a voyage to […]

How to read Irish silver maker’s marks

Irish silversmiths have to register with the Dublin assay office, and submit an example of their maker’s mark; this allows one to research who made a particular piece, and when. Many records were lost during the civil war, but various researchers have assembled lists of makers, giving us an almost comprehensive list of all the […]