9453
Antique Nuremberg Silver Wine Taster

Date: Circa 1600

Country: Germany

Stock Number: 9453

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A rare piece of early German silver dating back to circa 1600. A charming little silver taster with scalloped borders and shaped side handles. The centre is engraved with a single flower and leaf motifs picked out with prick dot chasing. The scalloped sides also have prick dot decoration, possibly crown motifs. The interior still has its original gilt finish and the exterior retains traces of the original gilt. Weight 47 grams, 1.5 troy ounces. Width across handles 10.1cm. Height 3.1cm. Top 8.3cm. German silver hallmarks stamped around the edge for Nuremberg circa 1600. Maker Wolff Loschen.

Literature: The saucer shaped taster was already in use as early as the 14th century BC in Minoan Crete and has been essential in the production of wine right through to the present time. It is used by the sommelier to determine a wine’s quality by assessing the color, clarity, bouquet and taste. The majority of wine tasters in existence are French. The owners often engraved their name on the taster whose single flat handle often accommodated a neck cord. Very few English wine tasters were made because wine was not a national product however a number were produced during a short period in the second half of the 17th century. These English examples are rare and anything after this date is even rarer. The early English examples were in the shape of a flat bowl, often with simple wire handles (these often have original rough soldering which can appear “blobby”).

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