9871
George I Silver Teapot

Date: 1715

Maker: Francis Plymley

Country: England

£4,950
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A fine antique silver bullet shape teapot. Britannia standard silver. Lovely plain, globular form, with a straight spout and wooden handle. Very small size. This is a very early teapot. To the front is a hand engraved crest. A charming feature is the shaped little swivel nut seen below the lid finial.

Contains 400 ml, 14 fluid ounces which is about 2 cups.

Weight 224 grams, 7.2 troy ounces.

Height 11cm. Spread 19.5cm. Diameter of base 6.4cm.

London 1715.

Maker Francis Plymley.

Britannia Standard silver is 95.8% pure. 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: Early teapots were of small capacity because of the rarity of tea. Although there are a few 17th century teapots in existence, there is little likelihood of finding one dating before 1710. The earlier the teapot the smaller they tend to be as tea was a very expensive commodity until the middle of the reign of George I.

Marks. Stamped underneath with a full set of English silver hallmarks. The lid with lions head erased mark.

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