Antique William & Mary Silver Peg Tankard

Date: 1691

Country: England

Stock Number: 8997

Extremely rare. A large early English silver peg tankard with transitional flat lid and a vertical row of seven pegs inside. Good patina. The lid and body have the fluting and hand engraved borders typical of the period. Decorative thumb piece. Uninscribed. Owners initials hand engraved to the top of the handle. Contains 1450 ml. Weight 959 gms, 30.8 troy ounces. Height 20 cms (to top of thumb piece). Diameter 14 cms (lid), spread 22 cms. Fully marked on the body, lid and handle part marked. Sterling silver. London 1691. Makers mark "SH"- see Jacksons page 137*.

Literature: *There are no precise records of silver makers marks prior to 1681 as all records were destroyed in the fire at Goldsmiths Hall in that year when the Assay Office and apartments of the Assayer and Clerk in the south west wing of the building were burned down.

Peg Tankard
The name 'peg tankard' is derived from the vertical row of cylindrical pegs soldered inside the tankard, used to measure the amount of alcohol drunk as the tankard was passed around the table. Each drinker could drink his allocated peg measure. The term 'peg' probably derives from the Danish measure 'paegl', roughly equivalent to a pint.

Peg tankards have a long history in the Scandinavian and Baltic countries. In England peg tankards were made from the mid-1650s through to the 1680s in York, Hull and other north-eastern towns with close cultural links with northern Europe. They usually follow the Scandinavian form, incorporating floral engraving and pomegranate feet. There is a plain example similar to this in the Metropolitan Museum of Art ref: http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online/search/195229.

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