Opportunity to acquire a beautiful pre-Revolutionary War silver beer mug
I collect pre-revolutionary war beer mugs. I love the history. Pubs were common meeting places of our founding fathers, who plotted and planned a revolution while drinking ale and eating mutton.
I know some of you also collect historic silver pieces ( @asheland ) and some have commented they'd like a piece like some of the ones I've posted.
One of my favorite dealers just listed a piece that I feel is a great bargain. If I didn't have 2 similar pieces, I'd have snapped it up already. Its quality, size, and price will probably mean a very quick sale.
This is a mug or cann-- a non-lidded drinking mug. Unlike a tankard, which has a lid on a hinge. It's a common "baluster" form, with a fat bottom and a slight taper toward the top. Most silversmiths who made drinking vessels in this period made mugs virtually identical to this one, and they're actually still made today.
But this has a few subtle flourishes and attention to detail that make it an especially nice example.
The hallmarks on this piece are nice and clear and tell much of its story: This piece was made in London (crowned leopard's head) of sterling silver (passant or walking lion) by William Grundy (WG), a known silversmith whose pieces are included in several museum collections. And it dates from 1773--which you can tell by the fancy script "S".
The large and detailed feather or leaf at the top of the thumb rest on the handle, the crystal clear hallmarks, which are often badly worn from centuries of polishing. And this one is bigger than similar mugs. It's heavier at 13.9 troy ounces, and it holds more than 20 fluid ounces, about 30% greater capacity than typical pint (16 fluid ounces) mugs.
It's not engraved, and doesn't appear to have been damaged or repaired.
And the exchange rate is really phenomenal right now, where a British pound is worth just $1.13.
They're asking £975. Which if my math is correct, is only about 4 times melt! And they may be willing to bargain on price.
I don't have a dog in this fight. I'm not selling it, and I'm not getting commission. They don't even know I've mentioned it here.
You can contact the seller directly. Note that this is NOT an American piece. If it were, it'd be 50 times more rare and would probably be priced at least 10x as high. But is it possible it made it to the American colonies in the 3 years after it was made? Sure. It's possible.
--Severian the Lame