An early English antique silver muffineer from the early 1700 period. Britannia standard silver*. Large size. Baluster shape. Excellent plain style. The top has a bayonet fitting and has two panels of pretty piercing with hand engraving. The base is plain with just a hand engraved lion crest to the front. Weight 265 grams, 8.5 troy ounces. Height 20.5 cms. London 1707. Makers mark for Charles Adams.
Marks. Stamped with full English silver hallmarks to the body (Britannia and lions head erased marks rubbed), lions head erased and makers mark to the top.
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.
*Britannia Standard silver. In 1696, so extensive had become the melting and clipping of coinage that the silversmiths were forbidden to use the sterling standard for their wares, but had to use a new higher standard, 95.8 per cent. New hallmarks were ordered, “the figure of a woman commonly called Britannia” and the lion’s head erased (torn off at the neck) replacing the lion passant and the leopard’s head crowned. This continued until the old standard of 92.5 per cent was restored in 1720. Britannia standard silver still continues to be produced even today.
Biography – Charles Adam, apprenticed to Francis Archbold 1682, entered his first mark as large worker February 1703. Specialist castermaker. Thomas Bamford, also castermaker, was apprentice to Charles in 1703.