John Dawson or James Douglas, Dublin, 1750 or 1770 (D in Pointed Shield*)



Of quite heavy gauge silver, the long spoons having deep ovoid bowls with single drop heels,
the terminals over-turning in the mid-18th century Irish manner,
each engraved in with a large crest, as the fashion of the day :


Scotland and Ireland, a unicorn rampant arg., armed and crined or.
For the family of Colyear (P, 48.2, Fairbairn's)
(House Inventory #RD984 on heel of one)


Marks :
Bottom struck with maker' mark, Hibernia, and the Harp, date mark D in a pointed shield*
The mark I D in a triangle, mullet above is shown p. 738, 'Jackson's Revised',
and attributed to John Dawson (sauceboat, 1764),

and a similar mark for James Douglas with a "device", rather than mullet (spoons, 1748).


The date mark D in a shield usually appears for 1770 with a pellet below.
However the D in a shield is sometimes found without a pellet, but usually rounded.
As 1748 seems a bit early for Hook End spoons, these might be of the 1770 date,
even without the pellet below in the shield.


Hook End (or hook-handle) basting spoons are peculiar to Ireland,
and date mostly from the mid-18th century.
Their unique characteristic of these spoons is the broad over-scrolled terminal
bearing a rather stylish large crest.
These serving utensils are mentioned in text as hanging from vessels,
and being "good for drawing poultry"(removing poultry insides).


Condition : Excellent with excellent marks


12.25" Long / 10.4 Total oz.






Please Inquire










Upon the balance of probability and without any evidence to the contrary

there is a likelihood that a Colyear was in possession of this pair of spoons.

The Colyears were Earls of Portmore (Scotland) from 1703 until the earldom fell into extinction in 1835.

Given the crest is not ensigned with an earl's coronet it may be assumed that a younger son was the owner.


The Earls of Portmore were Scottish by descent.

The Earldom of Portmore was created in the Peerage of Scotland where they had an estate in Scotland called 'Portmore House'. However, a further source states that the original 'Portmore' was in County Antrim, Ireland.

So saying, many authorities state their chief seat was at Weybridge in the County of Surrey,

a southern English county south of London.

Coincidentally, the old Irish ballad 'Bonny Portmore' celebrates the 'Great Oak of Portmore',

which fell in a storm in 1760.

The arms of the Colyears can be blazoned as follows :
'Gules on a chevron between three wolves' heads argent as many oak trees eradicated proper fructed or'.


As well, one of the Countesses of Portmore it is said received a pension of £5,000

(an enormous sum then) from the Irish establishment.


Heraldry by John Tunesi of Liongam

MSc, FSA Scot, Hon FHS, QG








 See Also :


Early George III Irish Silver Hook-End Basting Spoons & Soup Ladle


Early George III Irish Silver Hook-End Basting Spoons & Soup Ladle
Crested en suite for James Ferguson of Pitfour, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Mid-18th Century, 14.5" Long / 16.6 Total oz










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Heavy Gauge Silver Pair George II / III Irish Silver Hook End Basting Spoons