Antique Queen Anne Covered Silver Milk Jug

Date: 1704

Maker: Richard Syng

Country: England

Stock Number: 7785

An extremely rare little antique silver milk jug with a hinged lid. Britannia standard silver*. This is one of the earliest forms of milk jug and the style is very much like a contemporary coffee pot. Simple plain design and very pretty wooden handle. Hand engraved to the front side within a decorative cartouche there is a contemporary armorial with three castles. Contains 300 ml. Weight 249 grams, 8 troy ounces. Height 15 cms. Spread 11.5 cms. Diameter of base 5.5 cms. London 1704. Maker Richard Syng.

Literature: Milk wasn't commonly taken in tea and coffee until the early eighteenth century and there are no milk jugs dating to before the Queen Anne period which makes this one of the first examples to be found. Cream jugs without lids date from the 1720s onwards.

*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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