Antique James I Silver Beaker


Stock: 8492

Date: 1614

Maker: Francis Saunders

Country: England

A rare early English antique silver beaker of tall, plain design. At 6 inches the height is in keeping with...

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A rare early English antique silver beaker of tall, plain design. At 6 inches the height is in keeping with its early date; mid 17th century beakers were shorter, about 3 to 4 inches high. Around the top there is a band of hatched foliate decoration; this was used from the Elizabethan period up to about 1620. The foot is decorated with a stamped egg and dart ornamentation typical of this period.

Contains 400 ml.

Weight 224 grams, 7.2 troy ounces.

Height 14.8 cms, 6 inches. Diameter of top 8.6 cms.

London 1614.

Maker “SF” or “FS” (Jacksons page 107, Pickford edition). Probably “FS” for Francis Saunders (see David Mitchell’s Silversmiths in Elizabethan and Stuart London.

Sterling silver.

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, after the fire 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 superb antique beaker is in very good condition. Excellent patina. The engraving is still crisp. Stamped with a full set of clear English silver hallmarks. 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 Information

Maker: Francis Saunders

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