Antique Silver Wine Funnel

Date: 1804

Maker: John Emes

Country: England

Stock Number: 8380

An elegant antique sterling silver wine strainer with a broad reeded border and leaf design thumb piece. Excellent classic plain style. Good weight and colour. Hand engraved on both pieces with the Royal Arms bearing the motto "Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense". Weight 147 grams, 4.7 troy ounces. Length 15 cms. Diameter 7.8 cms. London 1804. Maker John Emes.

Literature: The wine funnel became common towards the end of the 18th century; a few rare earlier examples exist. With the modern wine making methods wine funnels are generally used just for decanting wine however in olden times the wine needed to be filtered before drinking it. The pierced platform is not normally sufficient to strain the wine properly and needs a piece of muslin fitted between the pierced section and the spout. There are two main varieties: the first has a spout which detaches just below the bowl of the funnel, the other has a detachable inner bowl with a pierced centre inside the main bowl. Occasionally there is a further detachable ring which held the muslin firmly. Funnels exist without a pierced strainer and were probably used to decant liquor or possibly perfume; these are normally smaller in size.

Signed/Inscribed: Order of the Garter (the Royal Coat of Arms), the highest order of chivalry. The motto "Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense" means "Evil (or shame) be to him that evil thinks.' Silverware bearing this armorial would have been supplied by the reigning British monarch as part of the costly ambassadorial silver for the British ambassador upon his appointment.

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