Antique German Silver Wine Taster


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Object Description

A charming little 17th century silver dish with scalloped sides and shaped side handles. The centre is embossed with a single flower stem picked out with prick dot engraving. Bold flowers, including poppies and daffodils were very popular during the mid to late 17th century. The gilt finish appears original and there is a gilt band to the outer edge. Owner’s initials “SW” engraved to one side, “EK” to the other.
Weight 72 grams, 2.3 troy ounces.
Width across handles 16cm. Height 2.8/3.8cm. Diameter 13cm.
German silver marks stamped by the handle for maker Paul Hedel Hofer, Breslau.
Circa 1680.

Object Literature

The saucer shaped taster was already in use as early as the 14th century BC in Minoan Crete and has been essential in the production of wine right through to the present time. It is used by the sommelier to determine a wine’s quality by assessing the colour, clarity, bouquet and taste. The majority of wine tasters in existence are French. The owners often engraved their name on the taster whose single flat handle often accommodated a neck cord. Very few English wine tasters were made because wine was not a national product however a number were produced during a short period in the second half of the 17th century. These English examples are rare and anything after this date is even rarer. The early English examples were in the shape of a flat bowl, often with simple wire handles (these often have original rough soldering which can appear “blobby”).

Object Condition

This early continental silver taster is in good condition. Excellent patina. The gilt has a good colour with very little wear. The embossed decoration has plenty of definition.
Please note that this item is not new and will show moderate signs of wear commensurate with age. Reflections in the photograph may detract from the true representation of this item.

Object Details

Dealer Opening Times

By appointment only.

Dealer Contact

+44 (0)207 288 1939
+44 (0)7904 297419

Dealer Location

Vault 31-32
The London Silver Vaults
53-64 Chancery Lane
London WC2A 1QS

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