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COMMONWEALTH PERIOD. An extremely rare Wine Taster made in London in 1659 and stamped with the makers mark of ET, with a Crescent below.


The Wine Taster is circular in form, with raised sides divided into panels by punch beaded bands, which are decorated with stylised flowers. The centre of the bowl is decorated with an unusual stylised flower head, possibly a tulip, and the base is engraved with a set of scratch engraved intials, together with 84, which must relate to an event that happened in 1684,most probably a marriage. The Wine Taster has two S scroll wirework handles and is well marked on the side of the main body. The makers mark of ET, with a crescent below, is illustrated on page 122 of Jacksons Silver & Gold Marks. Most interestingly, one of the examples of this makers work is a Wine Taster, so he may well have specialised in this area.

Very few wine tasters were made by English silversmiths during this period, beacuse wine was not a national product and the majority are French. There were a small number produced in England from 1645 and this represents a very rare early example. In addition, the production of decorative silverware, especially a wine taster, would have been severely looked down upon during the Puritanical rule of The Lord Protector, Oliver Cromwell.

Height: 1 inch. 1.5cm.

Length, handle to handle: 5.6 inches, 14cm