Antique Queen Anne Silver Caster

Date: 1714

Maker: Charles Adam

Country: England

Stock Number: 8374

An antique silver muffineer from the early 1700 Queen Anne period. Britannia standard silver*. With baluster shape and octagonal panelled design. This lovely castor is of heavy quality and feels good in the hand. The pull off top is simply pierced, the base is hand engraved. Weight 155 grams, 4.9 troy ounces. Height 14 cms. Diameter of base 5 cms. London 1714. Makers mark for Charles Adam.

Literature: *Britannia Standard silver. 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.

Casters didn't become common household objects until the late 17th century. They were made in varying sizes and designs and were usually for sugar or pepper although the blind caster, the earliest form of mustard pot, was used for dry mustard. The old spelling 'castor' is less frequently used nowadays.

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