Antique Charles II Miniature Silver Wine Taster
Maker: William Goodwin
A rare early English toy wine taster in sterling silver from the reign of Charles II. Very sweet size. This...
A rare early English toy wine taster in sterling silver from the reign of Charles II. Very sweet size. This little cup has a circular form with simple wirework handles and an embossed leaf and flower design.
Weight 13 grams.
Height 1.5 cm approx. Diameter of top 5 cms. Spread across handles 7.6 cms.
Makers mark “W.G” (see Jacksons page 123*), possibly William Goodwin free 1654, died 1703 (attribution by Dr David Mitchell “Silversmiths in Elizabethan and Stuart London”).
Literature: Silver toys in the 16th and 17th century were made predominately for the children of kings and queens. The Dutch were the leading manufacturers, their most prolific period being 1725-1750, and by then wealthy royalty, landowners and business men were buying toys for their own pleasure as well as that of their children’s. During that period England was still suffering under Puritanism and it wasn’t until the Restoration of Charles II in 1660 that silver toys were made available in this country. The earliest English silver toys date from 1665 and were made in London; it was uncommon for toys to be made in the provinces.
Signed/Inscribed: *It is unusual to have a maker’s name for a piece of silver of this early date as there are no precise records of silver makers’ marks prior to 1697. All records were destroyed in the fire at Goldsmiths Hall in 1681 when the Assay Office and apartments of the Assayer and Clerk in the south west wing of the building were burned down. From 1697 onwards Goldsmiths Hall has preserved a complete record of workmen’s marks, addresses, together with their names and the dates. Sometimes the details of makers can be discovered from old records such as the inventories of noble houses and other institutions. The first surviving record at Goldsmiths Hall is the 1682 copper plate made to start the recording process again. This has recently prompted a study by Dr David Mitchell, supported by Goldsmiths Hall, resulting in the publication of his 2017 “Silversmiths in Elizabethan and Stuart London”. This reference work identifies previously unknown makers marks and assigns marks struck on existing plate to individuals (attributions for 540 separate marks).
This lovely little cup is in very good condition with no damage or restoration. Fully stamped underneath with a full set of English silver hallmarks. Excellent colour. Please note that this item is not new and will show moderate signs of wear commensurate with age. Reflections in the photograph may detract from the true representation of this item.
Maker: William Goodwin
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