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Pocket Edition Jackson's Hallmarks: English, Scottish, Irish Silver and Gold Marks from 1300 to Present Day.Antiques Collector's Club, Woodbridge, Suffolk (UK). For a couple of them it was not possible to find real samples (this is a little known collecting niche).For these hallmarks a reconstruction was made by the author of this article on the basis of facsimiles reported by Ian Pickford, 1991.
Buy yourself a book of fiddle tunes and play through a few.A number of hallmarks are struck on silverware crafted in Great Britain and Ireland to certify the fineness of silver (lion passant, crowned leopard head, thistle, lion rampant, crowned harp), the place and date of hallmarking (Assay Office hallmark and date letter), the payment of the duty on silver to the Royal Crown (the sovereign head and the Hibernia).All these hallmarks are or have been compulsory (at least till the turn of last century), with some exceptions for little items approved from time to time.Kevin Burke, in an interview with Fiddler Magazine, explained the relationship between melody and ornament in Irish music: "An Irish tune when written is usually kept quite simple, a skeleton version, and it's up to players to "flesh it out" with their own ideas and variations, ornaments etc.Because the tunes often change from player to player I think the written versions are deliberately kept vague in case being too specific allows them to become"static".
For any violinist wishing to step beyond the narrow confines of classical discipline, the Irish jig or reel is one of the first stopping points.