Identify Mysterious Hallmark

My mother had a small Celtic-looking brooch with this hallmark. I haven’t been able to identify it, nor a friend of mine who is more familiar with such things. Any help appreciated.

If it helps, the opposite side of where the hallmark is located is stamped SCOTLAND.

This is a Glasgow sterling silver hallmark with the date letter D for the assay year 1952/53 and the maker’s mark RA of Robert Allison.


Many thanks, Phil.

Some time after I posted, I found the exact brooch online but with different assay office and date marks:

I’ll throw another one at you if I could. This is from a cigarette case, again from my mom’s estate. As far as I can tell it dates to Birmingham, 1889-1890, but the lowercase date mark in the shield is different than what I see online. It makes me wonder if I’ve dated it wrong or the letterforms varied slightly?

That date letter is “y” for 1898/99 and the maker’s mark is TH for Thomas Hayes.

I thought the letter was a ‘p’ instead of a ‘y’. Obviously I never scrutinized the hallmark charts very well.

Thank you.

No need to date this broken Birks mirror. Typical of the Canadian company, all it says is BIRKS STERLING. But the padding is interesting and dates it to some degree.

What about this found on a small silver-colored pendant?

Your picture is not clear enough. You need to do a bit of cleaning before having another go.

The pendant is clean. It’s just so small that the hallmark borders on the microscopic.

A Canadian penny for scale.

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Another view, clearly revealing the maker’s mark.

Could this be Dublin, 1991?

Yes, it could be very well be Dublin 1991. The marks don’t look exactly right but that could be because they are smaller than the ones we normally see. The harp design on the pendant certainly lends credence to an Irish origin.

I’m now checking many spoons with great success, but this one is throwing me off.

William Bateman, London 1815/16.

And this badly worn spoon.

That was quick, Phil. Thank you.

The worn one might be more difficult.

And this one on a cup.

Not sure whether I can tell you anything more about the Birks Ellis mark other than that it’s a Canadian company.

The earlier worn one looks like another possible John Round & Son mark (see this recent query: EP hallmark info sought - please and thank you), but in this case the letters in the shield are NS, nickel silver, rather than EP, so not even electroplated.

On further examination, the Birks-Ellis cup (pictured at the bottom) is actually a trophy with an inscription (not shown) dated May 1946.

I used Google Lens on the cup and found an EXACT match on eBay, but it’s stamped GORHAM, INC. The seller describes it, in part, as Marked: Gorham’s Hallmark of a Lion, Anchor, and a “G”, along with “STERLING 1 1 S GORHAM, INC.”. The inscription is dated October 2, 1937. All the measurements are exactly the same but the weight varies by 5.2 grams.

So some company obviously made these specific loving cups. But was it Gorham, Birks-Ellis, or a maker in Birmingham, England? But it looks like the lion, anchor and “G” are specific to Gorham.

The eBay listing is here:

More likely is that one of the 2 companies made a batch of these cups and when more were wanted the contract was put out to tender with a “make us another 20 of these cups. Here’s one copy” request.

While going through the spoons, I came across this exquisite piece. Unfortunately I can’t find any hallmark.

Is there any way to date such work or name a country known for it? Is there a word for such silversmithing (I assume it’s silver)?