Glasgow was not formally recognised as an Assay Office until 1819, however in 1681 the Glasgow Hammermen followed Edinburgh’s example by adopting a series of date letters for silver. After 1710 there is no date letter, sometimes the mark “S” appears instead. Various theories abound for what the “S” stands for – Scotland, Sterling, Standard? During the 1760’s the letters “E”, “F” and “O” also appear. Between 1784 and 1819, all Glasgow goldsmiths were required to send their work to Edinburgh for assaying as Edinburgh was the registered Assay office. The Glasgow Assay Office was formally set up in 1819 with the standard of silver being laid down as Sterling. At this time the date letters re-appear along with the lion rampant. Glasgow closed as an Assay office in March 1964. The Glasgow town mark is the “Fish, tree & bell” mark. Sugar tongs with Glasgow marks are quite rare.

Greenock is physically very close to Glasgow & there are sugar tongs of this period (and other silver) made in Greenock, but it is very rare. Greenock silver will be marked with an anchor & possibly the "Green Oak" or a ship in full sail. Jackson does show a few examples. With Glasgow makers, we start to get into the complicated business of the Scottish provincial towns. The point is that despite "The rules" saying that they were supposed to send their silver to Edinburgh for hall-marking, many (if not most) provincial makers did not bother. This also goes for some Glasgow silver-smiths. This make's life difficult for we collectors, as their work is often marked with little more than the maker's mark!

There are a lot of sugar tongs dated after 1819 and hall-marked Glasgow. These have a very distinctive style about them but as yet are not presented on this web-site. The George Thompson pair are a good example.

GT - George Thompson - Glasgow

RG - Robert Gray - Glasgow

RG & S - Robert Gray & son

TK - Thomas Kennedy - Kilmarnock