WILLIAM & MARY. A very fine & rare Drinking Cup made in London in 1689 by John Duck.

WILLIAM & MARY. A very fine & rare Drinking Cup made in London in 1689 by John Duck.



The Cup is circular in form, with slightly tapering sides and a flared rim.  The upper section displays a crisp frieze of trailing foliate scrolls and flower heads including daffodils and tulips, the influence coming from Holland when Charles II was in exile there. The cup stands on a spreading reeded foot and the embossing is contained within a prick dot frame with the contemporary initials "P over WI", above, possibly marriage initials and the date 1690.  This piece is in quite excellent condition and is very well marked in the foot.  The reign of William & Mary was short, only lasting from 1689-1694, when Mary II died and King William went on to reign alone as King William III.  The amount of silver from this short reign is, therefore, rare.

John Duck was born in 1653 and in 1669 was bound apprentice to the goldsmith Roger Stevens of Foster Lane.  Roger Stevens died very suddenly in 1673 and his wife Katherine took over the business.  Duck became free in 1677 and in 1678 he married Hannah Stevens, the daughter of his old Master.  His mark is a goose in a dotted circle and was in use between 1678 and 1694.  When Katherine Stevens died her Will left the remainder of the lease of the Foster Lane premises to her daughters and "ready money, silver, jewels, goods and chattels whatsoever" to John Duck.  It would seem that he wound up the business, which may have belonged to Katherine, towards the end of 1693 and, despite the fact that he lived to a great age, no object has been found with his goose mark later than 1693/94.  From December 1693, Duck was appointed assistand to Nathaniel Bowles, Deputy Assayer, by the Assistants of the Goldsmiths' Company.  In July 1695, he succeeded Bowles and held the post until 1716.

Height: 3.2 inches, 8 cm.

Diameter at the rim: 2.9 inches, 7.25 cm.

Weight: 4oz.