William III Silver Tankard


Stock: 9860

Date: 1697

Maker: John Sutton

Country: England

Outstanding quality and unusually large quart size. A rare early English silver flat top lidded tankard with a scroll handle...

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Outstanding quality and unusually large quart size. A rare early English silver flat top lidded tankard 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.
Britannia standard silver*

Arms. Marital arms of Richard Morgan of Somerset (c.1658-1709) and Mary (d. 1701), daughter of John Jeafresson of Cambridge. The arms were granted to Thomas Morgan of Easton in Gordano in 1590. Also prick dot engraved to the handle “MRM”.

*Britannia Standard. 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. 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. The term “tankard” is traditionally used for a single handed drinking vessel with a lid. Antique silver tankards are usually much bigger than mugs and sometimes have a quart capacity or more. The earliest date at which the familiar shaped tankard occurs is circa 1640 although these are exceedingly rare.

Marks. Stamped with a full set of English silver marks on both lid and body, handle with makers mark.


In very good condition. The hinge works well. The engravings are sharp. The silver marks are clear.

Maker Information

Maker: John Sutton

John Sutton, London silversmith, apprenticed to John Winterton 1661, turned over to Arthur Manwaring, free 1668. Sutton pursued a distinguished service in the Goldsmiths Company serving as Livery 1674, Assistant 1687, Touchwarden 1696, Third Warden 1701, Second warden 1703, Prime Warden 1707. His busy workshop bound 13 apprentices between 1668 and 1699.. His mark is the first entered in the largeworkers book started April 1697 and is awarded the distinction of a large ornamental script as „present Touchwarden“.

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