Antique William III Silver Bowl

Date: 1701

Maker: Robert Peake

Country: England

Stock Number: 7895

A rare and important early English silver bowl from the pre Queen Anne period. Large size with charmingly quaint lions mask drop ring handles and the ribbed body decoration typical for this period. To the front there is a large hand engraved armorial set within a plummage scroll cartouche. Around the top there is a band of engraved leaves and fish scale chasing. Britannia standard silver*. Weight 1313 grams, 42.2 troy ounces. Height 15 cms. Diameter 27 (top) cms, 17 cms (base). London 1701. Maker Robert Peake.

Literature: The silver punch bowl was not common in England until the late 17th century and even examples at that date are rare. The earliest examples are usually marked on the side. The earliest type often had a castellated detachable rim shaped to hold the foot of a glass and was called a Monteith.

*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.

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