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London 1896 Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Britannia Silver Muffineer

London 1896 Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Britannia Silver Muffineer
click for more pictures for item 3190f
 
$395.00

First introduced to British hallmarking in 1697, the "Britannia" standard demarcates a silver content of 95.8%, significantly higher than sterling's 92.5%.

It remained required for less than a century, but continued in limited use subsequent to the reversion to sterling in 1720, enjoying a revival in the late Victorian era.

This muffineer, aka sugar shaker or caster, traces to that period, having an Old English "a" date letter for 1896-97. Other marks are the Britannia figure, and an "erased lion." These appear on one wall of the body and the sleeve of the lid. The underside edge of the base also reads, "Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Company, 112 Regent Street."

On the surface of it, use of this higher grade of silver implies elevated quality, and that is the case with this piece.

It carries the mark of the "Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Co." which was essentially a London guild or collective of silversmiths. The firm enjoyed high repute and catered to well-established clientele.

The pieces is lofty, standing 7" high to the top of the finial. It is exceptionally heavy, weighing 11.0 T. oz.

The style is Georgian. It has a baluster body and sits on a tiered, pedestal base. These two pieces, plus the elongated top capped with an urn-like finial, have eight sides, four long ones and four short ones, with the short ones curved inward.

Otherwise plain-sided, one panel is engraved with a "knight's head with a feathered plume" crest.

The lid is reticulated in a pattern that includes bell flower, apostrophe, and leaf forms, and has a sleeve fitting that slides into the base.

It is in excellent condition overall. Free of dents or bends, it sits evenly, and has a rich, bright finish.

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