Queen Anne Silver Spoon Tray

Date: 1708

Maker: John Tiffin

Country: England


A small antique silver dish of oval form with a ribbed and scalloped border. *Britannia standard silver. Hand engraved crest to the centre and owners initials to the reverse. Excellent colour.

Weight 99 grams, 3.1 troy ounces.

Top measures 16 x 9cm. Height 1.6cm.

London 1708.

Maker John Tiffin.

*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: Tea drinking became fashionable during the first half of the 18th century and part of the hostess's tea silver would have been a spoon tray. On this would have been placed a teaspoon and a mote spoon (for straining tea leaves). These spoons were made by specialist flatware makers and are never found with these trays.

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