A rare early English toy wine taster in sterling silver from the reign of Charles II. Very sweet size. This little cup has a circular form with simple wirework handles and an embossed leaf and flower design. Weight 13 grams. Height 1.5 cm approx. Diameter of top 5 cms. Spread across handles 7.6 cms. London 1665. Makers mark “W.G” (see Jacksons page 123*), possibly William Goodwin free 1654, died 1703 (attribution by Dr David Mitchell “Silversmiths in Elizabethan and Stuart London”).
Signed -*It is unusual to have a maker’s name for a piece of silver of this early date as there are no precise records of silver makers’ marks prior to 1697. All records were destroyed in the fire at Goldsmiths Hall in 1681 when the Assay Office and apartments of the Assayer and Clerk in the south west wing of the building were burned down. From 1697 onwards Goldsmiths Hall has preserved a complete record of workmen’s marks, addresses, together with their names and the dates. Sometimes the details of makers can be discovered from old records such as the inventories of noble houses and other institutions.
The first surviving record at Goldsmiths Hall is the 1682 copper plate made to start the recording process again. This has recently prompted a study by Dr David Mitchell, supported by Goldsmiths Hall, resulting in the publication of his 2017 “Silversmiths in Elizabethan and Stuart London”. This reference work identifies previously unknown makers marks and assigns marks struck on existing plate to individuals (attributions for 540 separate marks).