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5197 A Very Rare Pair of Silver Wine Tasters


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It is extremely unusual to find a pair of English wine tasters and these must be one of just a mere handful of such examples in existence.

They are the 'standard' English pattern which evolved from the Bordeaux model and which in England began in the 16th century.  Like those from the 18th century, these have a pattern of indentations around the base to reflect light through wine so that its clarity and colour can be judged.

These wine tasters were made in London in 1828.   The maker's mark - IH with a mullet (a dot) between does not appear in the standard book of London Makers' marks, but a similar mark without the mullet does, and is ascribed to Joseph Hodgson who was working at the time these were made.  One of the maker's marks has been 'overstruck', which may mean that the taster was made by somone else and that Hodgson struck his mark over it and then made the pair to it also; it could also mean that he made  poor impression first time and decided to make a better one.

Very often English wine tasters are engraved with the name of the vintner who originally owned them together with a date.  These however, are engraved with an enigmatic legend which can be seen on the two lower images.  To date, we have been unable to determine the meaning of these inscriptions, but it is interesting that the engraver omitted the  superscript 'o' from 'No. 2'.  

Date: 1828

Dimensions: 4.5", 11.4 cm. Diameter

Weight: 144 grams, 4 oz. 13 dwt

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