9860
William III Silver Tankard

Date: 1697

Maker: John Sutton

Country: England

£13,750
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Outstanding quality and unusually large quart size. A rare early English silver flat top lidded tankard in Britannia standard silver with a scroll handle and decorative thumb piece. To the front is a large hand engraved armorial capped by the crest of a griffin. To the top of the handle there is a set of prick engraved owners initials. An excellent example of early hand beaten silver with lots of character.

Contains 2500 ml, a hefty quart capacity (1 quart = 2 pints).

Weight 1420 grams, 45.6 troy ounces.

Height 23 cm (to top of thumbpiece). Spread 25 cm.

London 1697.

Maker John Sutton.

*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.

Literature. The term "tankard" is traditionally used for a single handed drinking vessel with a lid. Antique silver tankards are usually much bigger than mugs and sometimes have a quart capacity or more. The earliest date at which the familiar shaped tankard occurs is circa 1640 although these are exceedingly rare.

Marks. Stamped with a full set of English silver marks on both lid and body, handle with makers mark.

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