This very nice pair of crested George III silver pierced and bright cut engraved wine coasters were made in London in 1793 by Michael Plummer and measure 4.75 inches in dia and are 1 5/8 inches tall, they have pierced and bright cut engraved sides with a reeded border and are crested to the fronts with a raised bears paw holding mistletoe. They are fully hallmarked to the base rims and are in very good condition, as useful as the day they were made.
The Crest of the Family of Cowper
The crest as engraved upon this Pair of George III English Sterling Silver Wine Coasters by Michael Plummer hallmarked London 1793 is that of the family of Cowper. It may be blazoned as follows:
Crest: A lion’s gamb erect and erased or holding a cherry branch vert fructed gules
As there are no incidents of the peerage1 shown undoubtedly these wine coasters were in the possession of a gentleman who was a cadet of the peerage family of the Earls Cowper. The family of the Earls Cowper stemmed from a John Cowper, of Strode in the County of Kent who was living during the reign of King Edward IV. The Earldom of Cowper along with the Viscountcy of Fordwich was created within the Peerage of Great Britain on the 20th March 1718.2 An examination of the Cowper peerage shows a number of gentlemen of the Cowper family living at the time of the manufacture of these wine coasters and later but it is difficult to pinpoint their ownership to one particular member or household of the family.
The Earldom of Cowper and its inferior peerages, together with the Baronetcy of Ratlin Court fell into extinction for the want of a male heir upon the death of Francis Thomas de Grey Cowper, the 7th and last Earl Cowper on the 18th July 1905.
1 A coronet of an Earl. 2 The Earls Cowper were also earlier created as a Baronet of England styled ‘of Ratlin Court, Co. Kent’ on the 4th March 1642 and as Baron Cowper, of Wingham, Co. Kent on the 14th December 1706 within the Peerage of Great Britain.