George I Silver Caster
Maker: Anthony Nelme
Extra large size. This is a very heavy antique silver castor or muffineer in the desirable octagonal shape. Britannia standard...
Extra large size. This is a very heavy antique silver castor or muffineer in the desirable octagonal shape. Britannia standard silver* 95.8 grade. Bayonet fitting. The top has panels of pierced decoration. Uninscribed. Stamped underneath with initials H.H and an interesting scratchweight 32=6, presumably this was originally one of a pair (Sett).
Weight 495 grams, 15.9 troy ounces.
Height 21.5 cm.
Maker Anthony Nelme.
*Britannia Standard silver. 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. Antique Silver Casters didn’t become common household objects until the late 17th century. They were made in varying sizes and designs and were usually for sugar or pepper although the Blind Caster, the earliest form of mustard pot, was used for dry mustard. The old spelling “castor” is not in frequent use currently and generally speaking, the term “caster” is only used now for sugar. During the 18th century, casters were often produced in sets of three for sugar and two types of pepper. As granulated sugar is a more modern development, the early Sugar Castors had larger holes necessary for crushed sugar.
This fine antique castor is in very good condition. The body is stamped underneath with a full set of English silver hallmarks, the top with the Britannia mark as is often the case at that date. There are a few small marks underneath the top rim (see photo 8). Also there is a curious stamp, similar to a makers mark, on the body just above the central reed decoration (see photos 1 and 9). 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: Anthony Nelme
Anthony Nelme, London silver maker, apprenticed to Richard Rowley 1672, turned over to Isaac Dighton , free 1679/80. 1st mark pre-1697 but entered on commencement of the new register. There is a previous unregistered? sterling mark recorded by Jackson dated 1691/2. Assistant to the Court of the Goldsmiths 1703, warden 1717 and 1723. Died circa 1723. His work showed signs of Hugeunot influence and his considerable output included many municipal pieces such as maces, as well as toilet services and other large pieces.
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