A magnificent pair of antique silver tea caddy boxes of cannister form with lift off lids. Large size and good gauge silver. Gilt finish. Britannia standard silver. The body is beautifully ornamented with cherubs, swags, acanthus leaf and other classical motifs on a hand chased matted background. Each box has an armorial engraved to the front and a monogram of old fashioned initials to the reverse.
Total weight 841 grams, 27 troy ounces.
Height 16.7m. Base 8 x 8cm.
Maker John Septimus Beresford.
Marks. Stamped with a full and matching set of English silver hallmarks to the top edge of the body and the edge of the lid.
Britannia Standard silver is 95.8% pure. 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 pure. 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.
John Septimus Beresford, London silver maker. Working circa 1875..1890. Mark (registered June 1873).
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