Thu, 23rd Jun 2022 11:00

Silver & Objects of Vertu

  Lot 691

A good Charles II sterling silver sweetmeat dish or wine taster, London 1664 by Thomas King (free. 1657, d. 1680)

A good Charles II sterling silver sweetmeat dish or wine taster, London 1664 by Thomas King (free. 1657, d. 1680)

Of circular form with applied twisted S form twin handles. The body with embossed half-fluted decoration, between flat chased scalloped bands reserved with textured “snakeskin” decoration, between punchwork pellets. The underside engraved with a scratch weight 4”6 Oz. Fully marked to the rim edge.

Length – 18 cm / 7.25 inches

Weight – 142 grams / 4.57 ozt

This mark is given a very strong probable attribution to Thomas King in Mitchell, D., Silversmiths in Elizabethan and Stuart London: their lives and their marks, Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2017, p.541, as the only plate worker candidate with these initials.

King was apprenticed to plateworker William Mouse from 1649, free on 1st Nov 1657. His brother John was apprenticed to spoon maker William Cary and free in 1660 where upon he registered a most similar mark to his brother Thomas. He married in 1662 to Mary where his is listed at St Mary Staining, he is known to have received compensation in 1666 for two tankards made by other makers for being of lower than sterling, he got £10 initially, then a further 12s 3d a year later. In 1662 he had six hearths for the Hearth tax, thus it shows that it was an enterprise of quite some standing, he took on seven apprentices with a further one turned over to him. According to his probate of 22nd February 1681 he lived in a four-storey house with a cellar in Foster Lane consisting of the shop and kitchen on the ground floor at an annual rent of £30 per annum, noted by Mitchel as being much more than many plateworkers at the time at £5 or £10 in comparison.

Upon his death in early 1681 his widow Mary continued the business registering her mark in the 1682 mark plate. Given this and the absence of another piece dated 1680 in the list of known items, the date letter of 1680 is the last that a piece by King should be found with.

Other Silver by King:

A fruit bowl of 1663, together with an identical one of 1656 by William Harrison, sold Christie’s London, 1 Dec 2004, Lot 736 (£47,800, incl. premium)

A wine taster of 1663 (Jackson 1989)

A wine taster of 1663, sold Bonham’s New Bond Street, 8 July 2009, Lot 221 (£3,120 inc. premium)

A porringer of 1669, (Christie’s 1946)

A wine taster of 1669 (Private Collection)

A tankard of 1670 (Christie’s 1930)

A communion cup of 1671 (Jackson 1989)

A cup and cover of 1672 (Merton College, Oxford)

A porringer of 1673 (Christie’s 1942)

A helmet shaped ewer of 1674 (Christie’s New York 1981)

A tankard of 1674 (1028 grams) sold Sotheby’s Amsterdam, 4/5 Dec 2006, Lot 369 (€7,800 incl. premium)

A porringer of 1676 (Christie’s 1950)

A porringer and cover of 1678 (Christie’s 1924)

A tankard of 1678 (Christ’s College, Cambridge)

A tankard of 1678 (Christie’s 1908)

A single handled porringer or skillet lid of 1678, sold Christie’s New York, 24 Oct 2002, Lot 317 ($3,585 incl. premium)

A chinoiserie footed salver of 1679, Sold Christie’s New York, 30 Oct 1991, Lot 300 ($35,200 incl. premium)

A tankard of 1680, sold these rooms 23 Oct 2019, lot 330 (£3500 incl. premium)

Sold for £3,750

Includes Buyer's Premium


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