Antique Queen Anne Chinoiserie Silver Tankard

Date: 1708

Maker: Thomas Holland I

Country: England

Stock Number: 7818

A rare and very charming early English silver lidded tankard, hand engraved with Chinese figures and exotic birds and plants. Britannia standard silver*. To the front there is a vacant plumage cartouche. The tankard has a simple flat sided form and S scroll handle finishing in a decorative thumb piece. Good patina. The interior is gilded. Contains 900 ml. Weight 561 grams, 18 troy ounces. Height 17 cms (to top of thumb piece). Diameter 9.75 cms (top), 11 cms (base). London 1708. Maker Thomas Holland I.

Literature: Chinoiserie decoration is very rare. It was popular for a very short time from the very late 17th century to the early Queen Anne period.

*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 and is always prized.

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