Object Description

A rare and very charming early English silver flat lidded tankard. Britannia standard silver*. Lovely plain design and hand beaten silver. Small size (for a lady). The tankard has a simple flat sided form and S scroll handle finishing in a decorative thumb piece. Hand engraved to the front there is a decorative cartouche containing an armorial. The handle has engraved owners initials. Good patina. Contains 550 ml, 1 imperial pint. Weight 512 grams, 16.4 troy ounces. Height 14 cms (to top of thumb piece). Spread 16 cms. Diameter 10.4 cms (top), 9.7 cms (base). London 1700. Maker Hugh Roberts.

Biography – Hugh Roberts (alias Humphreys), apprenticed to Augustine Dudley1672, free 1679. Mark entered as largeworker undated probably 1679 on commencement of register.

Signed – Engraved underneath with “WILLm & MARY DATE 1700”. This tankard was probably in a private collection or museum.

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 nice feature are the tell-tale dents on top of the handle where the thumb piece has been touching for over 300 years. The thumb piece is a bit crooked.

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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