9689
George I Silver Caster

Date: 1717

Maker: Anthony Nelme

Country: England

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Extra large size. This is a very heavy antique silver castor or muffineer in the desirable octagonal shape. Britannia standard silver* 95.8 grade. Bayonet fitting. The top has panels of pierced decoration. Uninscribed. Stamped underneath with initials H.H and an interesting scratchweight 32=6, presumably this was originally one of a pair (Sett).

Weight 495 grams, 15.9 troy ounces.

Height 21.5 cm.

London 1717.

Maker Anthony Nelme.

*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 pure. 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. Antique Silver 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 not in frequent use currently and generally speaking, the term “caster” is only used now for sugar. During the 18th century, casters were often produced in sets of three for sugar and two types of pepper. As granulated sugar is a more modern development, the early Sugar Castors had larger holes necessary for crushed sugar.

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