Antique James II Silver Sugar Caster


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Object Description

A late 17th century antique sterling silver muffineer in the traditional lighthouse design with a bayonet fitting, so typical of these very early casters. This lovely castor is of heavy quality and feels good in the hand. The base is plain styled with pierced motifs, the top is simply pierced, the holes are quite large as crushed loaf sugar was still in use at this early date. Engraved to the front is a large armorial, the top has the matching crest. Weight 243 grams, 7.8 troy ounces. Height 17 cms. Diameter of base 8.2 cms. London 1686. Makers mark “FA”* – see Jacksons page 133.

Object Literature

Casters didn’t become common household objects until the late 17th century. They were made in varying sizes and designs and were usually for sugar or pepper although the blind caster, the earliest form of mustard pot, was used for dry mustard. The old spelling “castor” is less frequently used nowadays.

*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.

Object Condition

This useful antique sugar shaker is in very good condition with no damage or restoration. Fully functional and all matching and original. Excellent colour and weight. Stamped with clear English silver hallmarks underneath, lion passant and makers mark to the top. The engravings are still sharp, later date probably 19th century. A few very minor dinks to the body which are better left as this castor has an excellent patina.
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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