Four years after the death of Alexander and Euphemia Ritchie in 1941, a company called Celtic Art Industries was founded in 1945 by Hamish Dawson-Bowman, an enthusiast of the Ritchie’s work and also of the ancient and medieval carved stones of Iona. He and his wife had been married in Iona Abbey just prior to the war, and his wife also was very familiar with the island.

Hamish Dawson-Bowman also bought the Island of Erraid in the early 1950s. This tiny island lies off the tip of the west coast of Mull and overlooks Iona.

Celtic Art Industries, abbreviated to C.A.I and sometimes used as a stamp on silver items, was founded with the intention of continuing the production of jewellery in the Iona tradition. Certainly two of the three craftsmen involved in this venture have become well known to enthusiasts of traditional Scottish jewellery. The three were Iain MacCormick, Malachy Gormley, and John Hart. They worked at this time from an old farm building in the Glasgow area, maintaining a strong link with Iona - as Iain MacCormick’s mother managed the crafts shop on the island and also gave the C.A.I some original Ritchie designs which had been left to her.

Subsequently, John Hart left C.A.I to pursue his own individual career as a silversmith.

Silver brooch by John Hart, early 1950s, with attractive Iona-style vine-scroll decoration and a central Cairngorm faceted stone. Reverse marks JH and Iona, Sterling Scotland.

Unusual sterling silver brooch, diameter approx 1.25", depicting Iona Abbey and St Martin's cross. Hallmarked for Edinburgh 1962 and stamped IONA, also combined JH initials for John Hart.

Attractive small silver Iona cross by John Hart. The front has panels of knotwork. The reverse is marked IONA and SILVER, as well as the combined JH symbol of John Hart. Length appox 1.75". 1950s period.

John Hart Iona silver plaid brooch. Knotwork and beasts design. 1950s. Marked IONA - SILVER and JH combined letters.

Silver knotwork brooch by John Hart, hallmarked Edinburgh 1962 with his initials and IONA on reverse.

Attractive silver 'sea monster' brooch by John Hart, originally from an Alexander Ritchie design. This one has the JH monogram on the reverse, as well as 'IONA', and an Edinburgh hallmark for 1963.

Attractive silver brooch by John Hart, with foliate decoration surrounding a dark blue banded agate. Hallmarked Edinburgh 1961 and maker's JH stamp.

Scarce hand-pierced and hand-engraved clan brooch by John Hart. Inscription reads 'Vi Et Virtute' (By Force and Valour). Finely-engraved boar's head (possibly Clan Sloan?). This is the only Iona stamped clan brooch I have yet come across. Nice clear 'JH' monogram, with IONA stamp, and full Edinburgh hallmark.

Beautifully stark John Hart silver brooch, with the design taken from the ornamentation of Iona Abbey tower windows. Reverse marks are JH, Iona, and hallmark for Glasgow 1960.


Home  ~   History  ~   Iona  ~   Hallmarks  ~   Brooches  ~   Crosses
Pendants  ~   Kilt and Hat Pins  ~   Enamelled Silverware  ~   Rings/Napkin Rings
Spoons and Forks  ~   Brassware  ~   Copperware  ~   Carved Wooden Items
Copperware  ~   Other Items  ~   Contemporary Silversmiths
Later Iona Silverwork  ~   Ancient Stone Carvings of Iona
Early Iona Pictures  ~  About Iona Marble  ~   "Iona Celtic Art"  ~   Celtic Links

© 2004 by David James