9283
Antique James II Silver Sugar Caster

Date: 1686

Country: England

Stock Number: 9283

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A late 17th century antique sterling silver muffineer in the traditional lighthouse design with a bayonet fitting, so typical of these very early casters. This lovely castor is of heavy quality and feels good in the hand. The base is plain styled with pierced motifs, the top is simply pierced, the holes are quite large as crushed loaf sugar was still in use at this early date. Engraved to the front is a large armorial, the top has the matching crest. Weight 243 grams, 7.8 troy ounces. Height 17 cms. Diameter of base 8.2 cms. London 1686. Makers mark "FA"* - see Jacksons page 133.

Literature: Casters didn't become common household objects until the late 17th century. They were made in varying sizes and designs and were usually for sugar or pepper although the blind caster, the earliest form of mustard pot, was used for dry mustard. The old spelling 'castor' is less frequently used nowadays.

*It is unusual to have a maker's 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 workmen's 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.

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