A good early English silver flat top lidded tankard in sterling silver, the scroll handle having a decorative thumb piece. Good patina. The lovely plain design and hand beaten silver is very charming. To the front there is a hand engraved armorial within tied plumage, very typical of this date. Contains 1400 ml. Weight 832 grams, 26.7 troy ounces. Height 18 cms (to top of thumb piece). Spread 19.5. Diameter 12 (top), 13.5 cms (base). Fully marked on lid and base, handle unmarked. London 1668. Makers mark RP* (see Jacksons page 128), probably Robert Pocock free 1666, died c.1692 (attribution by Dr David Mitchell in “Silversmiths in Elizabethan and Stuart London”).
Signed – *It is unusual to have a makers name for a piece of silver of this early date as there are no precise records of silver makers’ marks prior to 1697. All records were destroyed in the fire at Goldsmiths Hall in 1681 when the Assay Office and apartments of the Assayer and Clerk in the south west wing of the building were burned down. From 1697 onwards Goldsmiths Hall has preserved a complete record of workmens’ marks, addresses, together with their names and the dates. Sometimes the details of makers can be discovered from old records such as the inventories of noble houses and other institutions.
The first surviving record at Goldsmiths Hall is the 1682 copper plate made to start the recording process again. This has recently prompted a study by Dr David Mitchell, supported by Goldsmiths Hall, resulting in the publication of his 2017 “Silversmiths in Elizabethan and Stuart London”. This reference work identifies previously unknown makers marks and assigns marks struck on existing plate to individuals (attributions for 540 separate marks).