Silver beaker (ca 1690)
Silver beaker (ca 1690)

Silver beakers were made in England from the 15th century until late in the 18th century. Silver tumblers are small beakers which were made from about 1660 to the end of the 18th century. These were made by hammering a single sheet of silver, leaving most of the weight in base. If they were knocked over, they would tumble back upright – hence the name.

Silver mugs were made from about 1680. The early mugs were bulbous in shape, like pottery mugs. 17th century mugs were often engraved but 18th century mugs were usually plain. In the 19the century, silver mugs were usually only produced for christening presents and were very ornate.

Tankards (mugs with lids) were made in large numbers from about 1660 to 1880, after which time wine and spirits became popular at the expense of ale. Early tankards were plain. In the 17th century they sometimes had a coat of arms. 18th century tankards were elaborate presentation pieces.

Antique silver drinking vessels available now
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