Antique Queen Anne Silver Pilgrim Flask


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Object Description

A rare early English silver drinks flask of small size in the form of a medieval pilgrim flask. Plain form and heavy gauge silver with a screw-on top and pendant chain. There is a large decorative cartouche hand engraved to both sides with an armorial to the front (probably for Underhill of Stratford-upon-Avon) and a crest of a stag to the reverse. Weight 173 grams, 5.5 troy ounces. Height 13 cms. Width 8 cms. Unmarked English silver. Circa 1710. Illustrated in Michael Clayton’s Pictorial History of English & American Silver (see photos).

Object Literature

Early Medieval pilgrimage ampullae or small flasks were designed to hold holy oil brought back from the Holy Land. The oil was taken from the lamps which burn in front of important pilgrimage shrines and was believed to be able to heal the sick. The pilgrim flask usually has a flat body, circular or pear shaped, with a short neck, spreading foot, and often a chain. It could be suspended around the neck or was sometimes hung on the bedpost for protection from demons at night.

Object Condition

This lovely antique silver flask is in very good condition with no damage or restoration. Good gauge silver. Fine patina. The hand engravings are still crisp. The silver is unmarked which is normal for small silver articles of this period.

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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