Saturday, July 19, 2014

Modern Scottish Provincial Silver - Alexander Richie of Iona

A nice silver spoon turned up recently on a trip to regional NSW.  The dealer wasn't sure if it was silver, indeed the hallmarks were so small, I couldn't decipher them either.  But what did stand out was the impressive Celtic design to the spoon and the marks I could read that said 'AR' and 'IONA'.  I remembered reading a little somewhere about a silversmith, Alexander Richie, working on the Scottish island.  So I purchased the spoon (along with a few other pieces of silver) for a good price.

A Jam Spoon by Alexander Richie of Iona, Scotland

It turned out this spoon was indeed silver and had been hallmarked in Glasgow in 1931.

Hallmarks and Engraving of Richie Spoon
Alexander Richie, along with his wife, Euphemia, began making silverware and jewellery (as well as wood and other metal work) at the end of the nineteenth century.  He sent items from Iona to both Glasgow and Chester to be hallmarked.  Most of his pieces have the Celtic or Viking influence that this spoon shows.

Celtic/Viking influenced design
For a great website with further information about Alexander, as well as numerous examples of his work, check out http://www.alexander-ritchie.co.uk/.


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