9734
Antique German Silver Wine Taster

Date: Circa 1680

Country: Germany

£1,450
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A charming little 17th century silver dish with scalloped sides and shaped side handles. The centre is embossed with a single flower stem picked out with prick dot engraving. Bold flowers, including poppies and daffodils were very popular during the mid to late 17th century. The gilt finish appears original and there is a gilt band to the outer edge. Owner’s initials “SW” engraved to one side, “EK” to the other.

Weight 72 grams, 2.3 troy ounces.

Width across handles 16cm. Height 2.8/3.8cm. Diameter 13cm.

German silver marks stamped by the handle for maker Paul Hedel Hofer, Breslau.

Circa 1680.

Literature - The saucer shaped taster was already in use as early as the 14th century BC in Minoan Crete and has been essential in the production of wine right through to the present time. It is used by the sommelier to determine a wine’s quality by assessing the colour, clarity, bouquet and taste. The majority of wine tasters in existence are French. The owners often engraved their name on the taster whose single flat handle often accommodated a neck cord. Very few English wine tasters were made because wine was not a national product however a number were produced during a short period in the second half of the 17th century. These English examples are rare and anything after this date is even rarer. The early English examples were in the shape of a flat bowl, often with simple wire handles (these often have original rough soldering which can appear “blobby”).

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