Cork is the other main centre for silver in Ireland, although there has never been an official Assay office in Cork. In a similar way to the Scottish provincial towns, it did not seem to matter whether it was an official Assay office, they still marked their silver there. The Cork mark was a sailing ship, usually between two castles. Cork silver is also often marked “sterling” although the range of marks is very wide. From about 1710 onwards, Cork silver usually only had the maker’s mark and the word “sterling”. Cork petitioned twice to have an Assay office, in 1713 and again in 1786, neither petition being successful. The 1807 act that gave Dublin jurisdiction over all Irish silver meant that Cork marks effectively disappeared. Sugar tongs made in Cork are rare but can be found.
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John & Samuel Nicolson