Object Description

A good early English silver flat lidded tankard. Britannia standard silver*. Lovely plain design and hand beaten silver. The tankard has a simple straight sided form and S scroll handle finishing in a decorative thumb piece with shell decoration. Hand engraved to the front there is a large decorative cartouche containing an armorial. Good patina. An interesting feature is the royal stamp for “William Rex” on the reverse side of the body. Contains 1075 ml. Weight 759 grams, 24.3 troy ounces. Height 18 cms (to top of thumb piece). Spread 19cms. Diameter 10.8 cms (top). London 1701. Maker Seth Lofthouse.

Biography – Seth Lofthouse, London silversmith, apprenticed to William Wakefield of the Merchant Taylor’s Company 1676. Freedom not recorded. Mark entered as largeworker in 1699. William Bellasis apprenticed to him in 1709. Listed as dead in the Haberdashers’ Company records of 1727.

Object Literature

Britannia Standard. 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

Object Condition

This excellent tankard is in very good condition with no damage or restoration. The engraving is still sharp. Stamped with a fully matching and clear set of silver marks to the body and lid, handle with maker’s mark, a second makers mark has been struck to the body. A nice feature are the tell-tale dents on top of the handle where the thumb piece has been touching for over 300 years.
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 Classification

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