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Drinking Vessels

Over the centuries, drinking has played an important role in increasing the enjoyment of life. Not only a social pleasure and an aid to relaxation but “a small tipple” also greatly enhances the pleasure of eating. These dazzling antique sterling silver drinking vessels come in many styles to help you enjoy your drinking experience.

Cups, Goblets and Porringers, Jugs, Ewers and Decanters, Tankards and Mugs

Alcohol has its roots in Ancient History. Beer jugs were made as early as 10,000 BC, vineyards were planted back in Biblical times and the ancient Egyptians enjoyed both beer and wine. The Chinese considered alcohol as a spiritual food.

In England, drinking water was not commonly available until the late 19th century and so beer, the people’s beverage, was drunk as a substitute for water. Wine, imported from France, Germany, Spain and Portugal, was expensive and consumed by the wealthy classes. Alcohol spirits were readily available since the Middle Ages, brandy being originally produced for medicinal purposes and only available in apothecaries.

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Drinking Vessels

Over the centuries, drinking has played an important role in increasing the enjoyment of life. Not only a social pleasure and an aid to relaxation but “a small tipple” also greatly enhances the pleasure of eating. These dazzling antique sterling silver drinking vessels come in many styles to help you enjoy your drinking experience.

Cups, Goblets and Porringers, Jugs, Ewers and Decanters, Tankards and Mugs

Alcohol has its roots in Ancient History. Beer jugs were made as early as 10,000 BC, vineyards were planted back in Biblical times and the ancient Egyptians enjoyed both beer and wine. The Chinese considered alcohol as a spiritual food.

In England, drinking water was not commonly available until the late 19th century and so beer, the people’s beverage, was drunk as a substitute for water. Wine, imported from France, Germany, Spain and Portugal, was expensive and consumed by the wealthy classes. Alcohol spirits were readily available since the Middle Ages, brandy being originally produced for medicinal purposes and only available in apothecaries.

  • Circa 1550

    Leonhard Bram

    9788 Antique Swiss Silver Beaker

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    An exceptionally early drinking cup dating from the 16th century. This parcel gilt beaker has a cylindrical tumbler form and stands on a shallow foot. The cup still retains the original hand beaten finish. There is a gilded band of decoration around the top with foliate scrolls and roundels on a hatched background. The foot has a gilt band and feather decorated border. The underside retains traces of the old, blobby mercury solder used in the original manufacture over 450 years ago. Contains 150 ml. Weight 79 grams, 2.4 troy ounces. Height 6.4cm. Diameter 6.9cm. Stamped underneath with Swiss silver marks for Zurich, Switzerland. Maker Leonhard Bram. Circa 1550. Ref: Eva Losel’s book on Zurich Goldsmiths pages 164 and 360 – see images.

  • 1571

    James Feake

    9918 Elizabeth I Silver Chalice

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    A rare early English chalice dating to the reign of Elizabeth I. A very early date and in very good condition. With straight tapering sides, slightly flared at the top, and would originally have had a cover (paten). Hand beaten finish as you’d expect at this date. The single hatched band of decoration is well executed and the definition is very good. There is applied wire ornament to the stem, the foot has a second band of hatched engraving. Contains 180 ml. Weight of chalice 190 grams, 6.1 troy ounces. Chalice dimensions – height 15.3cm, diameter of top 7.7cm. Extremely good silver marks for London 1571. Maker probably James Feake. Sterling silver.

  • 1624

    Robert Snow

    9703 James I Silver Flagon

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    A magnificent early English silver flagon having a tall cylindrical body on a spreading base edged with reed banding. The almost flat cover has a simple curved thumbpiece. Good plain design. Uninscribed. Contains 1350 ml. Weight 1067 grams, 34.3 troy ounces. Height 29cm (to top of thumb piece). Diameter 9.7cm (top). London 1624. Maker probably Robert Snow (see Dr David Mitchell’s “Silversmiths in Elizabethan and Stuart London”). This flagon appears to be one of his earliest recorded works. Sterling silver.

  • 1625

    Robert Profit

    9989 Charles I Antique Silver Bowl

    £5,950

    An extremely early date. A rare antique silver porringer (or bleeding bowl) of plain circular form. The straight sided shape with a simple rim is the earliest type and in keeping with the early date. Small proportions and very charming with the original hand beaten finish. A useful serving bowl, handy for nuts and sweets. Prick marked on the edge of the rim with the initials “MC”. Weight 108 grams, 3.4 troy ounces. Diameter 10.3cm. Height 3.5 cm. Spread 14cm. London 1625. Maker “RP” possibly Robert Profit (David Mitchell’s “Silversmiths in Elizabethan and Stuart London”).

  • Circa 1626

     

    9780 German Parcel Gilt Silver Tankard

    £10,750

    A fine early German silver gilt tankard of cylindrical form. Small size. Good weight. The body and cover are chased with scrolls and shells on a matted ground. Initials “IP” engraved to the cover. Contains 250 ml. Weight 294 grams. Height (to top of finial) 13.8 cm. Spread 12 cm. Diameter of base 12.3 cm. Marked on the lid and base with German silver marks for Augsburg 1624-1628. Maker Hans Kolb or Hieronymous Wolfgang Kern.

  • 1626

    Richard Blackwell

    9968 Charles I Antique Silver Beaker

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    Dating from the early 1600’s. An early English antique silver beaker of plain tapering design with simple foot wires. Lovely plain form. Excellent patina and hand beaten finish. Contains 250 ml. Weight 120 grams, 3.8 troy ounces. Height 8.9 cm. Diameter 7.0cm (top), 6.0cm (base). London 1626. Sterling silver. Maker’s mark “probably” Richard Blackwell the Elder – see David Mitchell’s “Silversmiths in Elizabethan and Stuart London”.

  • 1628 - 1635

    Wenzel Zeideler

    9988 Antique German Silver Beaker

    £4,950

    An early Leipzig silver stipple ground beaker of tapering form. Original gilt finish. Hand engraved to the body is a charming design of a tree with outspread branches and large leaves like table tennis bats. Contains 190 ml. Weight 109 grams, 3.5 troy ounces. Height 8.3cm. Diameter 6.7cm (top), 5.2cm (base). Leipzig 1633-1635 Maker Wenzel Zeideler. Circa 1628-30. Marks. Stamped underneath with German silver marks for Leipzig.

  • Circa 1640

     

    9786 German Parcel Gilt Silver Cup & Cover

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    A rare and impressive antique silver standing cup and cover of baluster shape with lobed foot. Large size. The waisted, lobed body is chased with fleur-de-lys and scrolls on a finely matted background. The top has a silver vase of flowers finial. This form is typical of German Renaissance banqueting silver cups and the quality is excellent. Contains 500 ml. Weight 611 grams, 19.6 troy ounces. Height – 40 cm (total), 29.5 cm (cup). Diameter of top 10.6 cm. Stamped by the rim and on the foot with the German town mark “W” possibly Breslau. Makers mark “WO” unidentified. Circa 1640.

  • Circa 1650

     

    9680 Antique Dutch Silver Beaker

    £4,650

    An antique silver beaker of tapering cylindrical form on a cast, coin inset, foot. Bright gilding inside and out. The body is decorated with 3 figures within oval cartouches surrounded by engraved floral and fruit designs. Contains 270 ml. Weight 230 grams, 7.3 troy ounces. Height 13.5cm. Dutch silver marks, possibly Groningen. Maker’s mark 3 anchors. Circa 1650.

  • 1657

    Christopher Shaw

    9384 Antique Commonwealth Period Silver Porringer

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    A very rare piece of early English antique silver. A sterling silver caudle cup with cast serpent shaped side handles and applied ring base. It has the more austere decoration associated with the Commonwealth period, the matted scrolls and punchwork have an appealing naivety. Superb colour. An attractive feature is the decorative base, very reminiscent of the wine tasters of this period. Weight 234 grams, 7.5 troy ounces. Diameter 11 cm. Height 7.5 cm. London 1657. Maker Christopher Shaw – ref. Jackson’s “Silver & Gold Marks” and Dr Mitchell’s “Silversmiths in Elizabethan and Stuart London”. A very historic piece.

  • 1659

    Anthony Ficketts

    9875 Commonwealth Silver Tankard

    £15,950

    A rare early English silver flat top lidded tankard with a cast, kidney shaped thumbpiece. The S-scroll handle has a shield terminal. Circa 1640 is the earliest date at which this tankard shape occurs and it’s unusual to find a tankard from this turbulent period and early date. Very charming, with hand beaten silver, the tankard displays a lot of character; a nice feature is the pointed front of the lid. Hand engraved to the front with a flat topped shield within ostrich plume feathers, a popular style of engraving from 1660-1690. Contains 1300 ml. Weight 763 grams, 24.5 troy ounces. Height 16.3cm (to top of thumb piece). Spread 15.7 cm. Diameter 11.4cm (inside top), 13.3 cm (base). London 1659. Silver from this period is very rare. Maker Anthony Ficketts, attribution by David Mitchell “Silversmiths in Elizabethan and Stuart London”. Sterling silver.

  • 1673

     

    8394 Charles II Silver Porringer

    £2,250

    A rare early English silver porringer of small size having 2 side handles and belly shape. Lovely original hand beaten finish. Weight 69 grams, 2.2 troy ounces. Height 5.5 cms. Diameter 6 cms. London 1673. Maker IC* listed in Jacksons.

  • 1675

    Simon Romney

    8739 Antique Charles II Silver Porringer

    £7,500

    A rare piece of early English silver. A large 2 handled antique silver porringer of plain form. The matching cover has a capstan shaped finial so that the lid can be turned upside down and used on its own as a saucer. This has the form of a typical early Restoration porringer, with bellied shape and the lid sitting over the upper rim. There is a small silver support either side next to the handle for the lid to sit on. Hand engraved to the front, and repeated on the cover, are the arms and crest for the Yong family of Medhurst, Sussex. Weight 375 grams, 12 troy ounces. Height 14 cm (total), 10 cm (cup), 4.5 cm (lid). Diameter 10 cm. Spread across the handles 17 cm. London 1675. Makers mark “SR”* in a shield (there are 2 similar marks in Jacksons, see page 124 and 129, bottom of the page), probably Simon Romney.

  • 1676

     

    9885 Charles II Beaker

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    An early English antique silver beaker of plain design with simple foot wires. Hand engraved around the top and middle body is a band of hatched foliate decoration, a decoration popular from the Elizabethan period through to this date. Contains 300 ml. Weight 143 grams, 4.5 troy ounces. Height 10.2cm. Diameter of top 8cm. London 1676. Maker “BM” within a heart shaped shield (Jacksons page 141). Sterling silver.

  • 1680

    Robert Smythier

    9097 Antique Charles II Silver Porringer

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    A rare early English porringer with matching lid and side handles. The cup has a clean form with sharp features and rope twist borders. The body with cut card decoration, the lid with acanthus leaf design and ring handle. The front has a large hand engraved armorial and the lid has a crest. Excellent weight and colour. Weight 884 grams, 28.4 troy ounces. Height 17cm (with lid), 12cm (without lid). Spread 21.5cm. Diameter 14.5cm. London 1680. Maker Robert Smythier.

  • 1680

    Thomas Cory

    9904 Charles II Silver Bowl

    £2,850

    An early English silver side handled porringer (or bleeding bowl) of plain circular form and shallow bellied shape. Small proportions and very charming with the original hand beaten finish. A useful serving bowl, handy for nuts and sweets.The handle is prick marked “I*C 1681 M”. Weight 104 grams, 3.3 troy ounces. Diameter 10.4cm. Height 3.6 cm. Spread 15.4cm. London 1680. Maker Thomas Cory. Sterling silver.

  • 1683

    John Duck

    9991 Charles II Antique Silver Beaker

    £11,950

    An early English antique sterling silver beaker of plain tapering design with simple foot wires. Dating from the late 1600’s. Charmingly flat chased with an exuberant scene of exotic birds and foliage in the Chinese style known as “chinoiserie”. To the front there are hand engraved initials “MFD” and the date 1684 and to the reverse are the prick engraved initials “CIE”. Excellent patina and hand beaten finish. Contains 290 ml. Weight 99 grams, 3.1 troy ounces. Height 9.2cm. Diameter 8cm. London 1683. Maker John Duck, well known for his fine period beakers.

  • 1684

    John Spackman I

    9657 Charles II Silver Tankard

    £6,950

    A good early English silver flat top lidded tankard having a scroll handle with decorative thumb piece. Good patina. Lovely plain design and hand beaten silver. To the front there is a hand engraved armorial within a simple decorative cartouche. Contains 1300 ml. Weight 862 grams, 27.6 troy ounces. Height 19cm (to top of thumb piece). Diameter 10.6cm (top). Spread 21cm. Fully marked on lid and base, makers mark on the handle. London 1684. Maker John Spackman*. Sterling silver,

  • 1686

     

    9198 Antique James II Silver Mug

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    A rare early English silver mug of large size and very heavy gauge silver dating from the James II period. With a plain straight sided tapering form, simple reeded bands to top and base and an “S” scroll handle. To the front is an impressive hand engraved armorial with the crest of a sheep and the motto “Felice Chi Puo”. Excellent colour. Weight 475 grams, 15.2 troy ounces. Height 11 cm. Diameter 8.6 cm (top), 10 cm (base). Contains 1 pint. London 1686. Makers mark entered in Jacksons Page 142. Handle unmarked.

  • 1686

    Thomas Cooper

    9938 James II Antique Silver Tankard

    £9,500

    A fine and rare early English sterling silver tankard with a flat hinged cover. Excellent size and quality. Good patina. With a scroll handle, decorative thumb piece and shield shaped terminal. A fabulous collector’s piece and still able to be used. To the front is a crisp armorial hand engraved within plumage feathers, in keeping with the period. An excellent example of early hand beaten silver with lots of character. Contains 1400 ml. Weight 731 grams, 23.5 troy ounces. Height 15.3cm. Diameter 12cm (top), 13.5cm (base). London 1686. Maker “TC, a fish above” probably Thomas Cooper, attributed by David Mitchell. Sterling silver.

  • 1689

    Seth Lofthouse

    9940 William & Mary Antique Chinoiserie Silver Porringer

    £11,750

    A fascinating and rare piece of chinoiserie silver. This early English antique sterling silver porringer, or side handled cup, is flat chased with an exuberant oriental scene incorporating Chinese people and exotic birds. The large bowl, of circular form with flared lip, is ideal for use as a drinking cup or for displaying flowers. Weight 482 grams, 14.4 troy ounces. Height 12.3cm. Diameter 14cm. Spread across the handles 21.5cm. London 1689. Maker Seth Lofthouse. Sterling silver.

  • Circa 1690

    Johann Wagner

    9889 German Silver Beaker

    £1,650

    A good quality antique silver stipple ground beaker of tapering form. Plain style and simple shape. Punched snakeskin ornament. Gilt finish. Contains 240 ml. Weight 134 grams, 4.3 troy ounces. Height 8.8cm. Diameter 7.2cm. German silver marks (assay scrape and the pineapple Augsburg town mark). Maker Johann Wagner. Circa 1690.

  • Circa 1691

     

    9800 William and Mary Provincial Silver Beaker

    £5,750

    A rare piece of British provincial silver. A Scottish or Yorkshire silver beaker of plain, tapered cylindrical form having a plain base with simple foot wires. The underside displays very prominent soldering – see condition report. Contains 250 ml. Weight 158 grams, 5 troy ounces. Height 9.9 cm. Diameter 7.8 cm. Yorkshire or Scotland circa 1691. Maker’s mark “Crown over S.S”.

  • 1692

    John Richardson

    9890 William and Mary Chinoiserie Silver Beaker

    £8,760

    An early English antique silver beaker of plain tapering design with simple foot wires. Dating from the late 1600’s. Compact size. Charmingly decorated with a band of hand chased decoration of birds and foliage in the Chinese style known as “chinoiserie”. To the front there is a hand engraved prick dot design containing “F.S” and the date 1693. Excellent patina and hand beaten finish. Contains 160 ml. Weight 74 grams, 2.3 troy ounces. Height 8.1 cm. Diameter 7.2cm. London 1692. Maker John Richardson, a prominent cup and tankard maker known for chinoiserie silver. Sterling silver.

  • 1693

    George Manjoy

    9539 William & Mary Antique Silver Miniature Mug

    £2,350

    A delightful little collector’s piece. This rare miniature (or toy) mug is an exact copy of a full size original. Of globular form it has a reeded and incised neck, and double scroll handle. This style was only made for a short period at the end of the 17th century and is the earliest type of mug you are likely to come across. The body is engraved with an exotic bird and leafy branches. Weight 14 grams, less than 1/2 troy ounce. Height 3.5cm. Spread 4.9cm. London 1693. Maker George Manjoy, a specialist toy maker.

  • 1694

    William Keate

    9836 William & Mary Silver Bowl

    £3,350

    A large early English silver side handled porringer (or bleeding bowl) of plain circular form and distinctive bellied shape. With a shaped and pierced handle. Very charming with the original hand beaten finish. A useful serving bowl, handy for nuts and sweets. Weight 244 grams, 7.8 troy ounces. Diameter 12.7 cm. Height 5 cm. Spread 19.7 cm. London 1694. Maker William Keate (also known as William Keatt). Sterling silver.

  • 1694

    John Cory

    9987 William & Mary Antique Silver Cup

    £3,350

    A charming little early English silver mug of plain form. Charming small size and suitable for a child/christening mug. The body is raised from sheet and has a simple strap handle and an incised, reeded neck. This is the earliest type of mug. Engraved to the underside are owner’s initials and the date “1695”. Contains 140 ml. Weight 60 grams, 1.9 troy ounces. Height 6.5cm, 7cm to top of handle. Diameter 5cm. Mark “I.C” in a shield with a pellet below. Possibly John Cory. London 1694. Sterling silver.

  • 1696

    Thomas Jenkins

    9781 William III Silver Bowl

    £3,750

    An early English silver side handled porringer (or bleeding bowl) of plain circular form. Very charming with the original hand beaten finish. The shaped and pierced handle has initials hand engraved to the centre. A useful serving bowl, handy for nuts and sweets. Weight 285 grams, 9.1 troy ounces. Diameter 12.8 cm. Height 9.8 cm. Spread 14.5 cm. London 1696. Maker “TI two escallops between”* attributed to Thomas Jenkins (see Jackson’s “Silver & Gold Marks” and David Mitchell’s “Silversmiths in Elizabethan and Stuart London”). Sterling silver.

  • 1697

    John Sutton

    9860 William III Silver Tankard

    £13,750

    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.

  • 1697

     

    9990 William III Antique Silver Cup

    £4,750

    A very unusual antique sterling silver cup of tapering form on a small applied foot; the simple “S” scroll handle having a beaded rat-tail decoration. The body has four panels of hand applied matting work. Originally this would have been either a small mug or toddy cup for alcoholic beverages or possibly a cup for drinking tea or chocolate. Contains 155ml. Weight 108 grams, 3.4 troy ounces. Height 7.7cm. Diameter of top 7.2cm. Spread across the handle 9cm. London 1697. Maker unknown.

  • 1701

    Humphrey Payne

    9599 William III Silver Tankard

    £4,750

    A good early English antique silver tankard with a flat lid. Britannia standard silver*. Lovely plain design and hand beaten silver. The tankard has a simple straight sided form and S scroll handle finishing in a decorative thumb piece. No engravings except the owner’s initials prick engraved to the handle. Contains 900 ml. Weight 624 grams, 20 troy ounces. Height 16.4 cm (to top of thumb piece). Spread 18.5 cms. Diameter 10.5 cms (top). London 1701. Maker Humphrey Payne.

  • Circa 1701

     

    9903 Antique Silver Armorial Beaker

    £1,150

    A very interesting antique silver cup of tapering form and plain style. Simple shape with bright gilt bands to the rim and base, and gilded interior. Good gauge silver and weight. The base is beautifully engraved with an armorial dated 1701, possibly a town arms. Engraved initials to the front. Contains 350 ml. Weight 136 grams, 4.3 troy ounces. Height 9.2cm. Diameter 8cm (top), 6.3cm (base). Unmarked silver. Continental. Circa 1701.

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