An interesting Charles II cup, silver-gilt, is illustrated page 75. 인천오피 The maker’s mark is H. G. and the date letter is a black-letter capital C, indicating the year 1660. The illustration shows the position of the marks and the irregular manner in which they were stamped at that period. The marks are illustrated on page 369. Cups such as this have sometimes had portions added to them, converting them into ewers with curved spout and large handle. There is a piece among the corporation plate at York which suggests such an alteration. In the days of Charles II the puritanic form of the few pieces of plate then remaining offended the new spirit of gaiety. Cromwell’s cavalry had stabled their horses in cathedrals; with the Restoration, communion cups were converted into vessels for less sacred use.

Illustrated on the same page are two William III flagons, with date letter for 1692, and maker’s mark I. Y. These are in the possession of the parish of St. Martin’s, Exeter. These flagons were wrought in London in the fateful year when Marlborough was dismissed from his office on suspicion of high treason, when Louis XIV espoused the cause of the exiled James and prepared to invade England. By the naval victory of La Hogue the supremacy of the seas was gained. On land the French took Namur, but although William was defeated he prevented the French from entering Brussels. All these pieces of news filtered through to London in the days when the craftsman was patiently hammering these flagons{78} and twisting the handles and fashioning the thumb-pieces. To-day to the curious and pensive mind the row of stamped symbols recalls the England of William.

Examples of the patens later in use are shown on page 79. The two Charles II pieces are on feet, and it will be seen that they are ornamented with rope-pattern borders. They are inscribed “St. Martin’s in Exeter.” The London date letter is for 1680, and the maker’s mark is E. G. Between them stands a Queen Anne lavabo bowl with the Exeter mark for 1702, the maker being John Elston.

A Queen Anne paten is illustrated beneath on the same page. The Exeter date mark is for 1714, and the maker is Pentecost Symonds. The illustration shows in what position the marks are placed, and they are illustrated on page 391.

A remarkable communion cup and cover of small size is illustrated on page 81. This is a George II specimen and is unique. It bears the Exeter mark for 1729, and the maker is James Strong. The stem of this cup is in baluster form of fine proportions. The cover is remarkable, being intended, when removed, for use as a flat paten. In addition to the usual central button it has four small additional feet. It was intended for the use of the sick, hence its smaller size. Altogether it is a most remarkable piece. It has an inscription which runs: “Deo Christo et Ecclesiae St. Martini Exon in usu infirmorum.” The marks on it are given under the illustration.
The Mazer, the fifteenth-century precursor of the punch-bowl—Some historic Standing Cups (the Leigh Cup, 1499)—Stoneware jugs with silver mounts and covers—The seventeenth century—The Pepys Standing Cup—Elizabethan flagons—Seventeenth-century Tankards—The Stuart Beaker—Stuart wine cups—The “Monteith” form punch-bowl of the eighteenth century.

In this chapter it will be seen that a survey is made of the drinking vessels of silver plate in use during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. With the advent of coffee and tea, silver plate found a newer field, and the coffee-pots, tea-pots, and tea-caddies of the eighteenth century are dealt with in another chapter.

During the period prior to the general use of glass, metals were employed for domestic plate. Pewter, being less costly, was more used than silver plate, which was confined to the wealthier classes; and for those of lower degree the black-jack and the “old leather bottel” sufficed. Faience from the Low Countries and from Cologne early found its way{86} to this country. The Bellarmine jugs, large in capacity and strongly made of gres de Flandres stoneware, were possibly much in demand for serving sack and beer and other liquors consumed in large quantities. It is the tendency of all simple objects to become ornate. The earliest plain horn cups used by the herdsman and the simples developed into silver-mounted richly-chased drinking horns for use at the castle. Of this class is the drinking horn belonging to Lord Cawdor, at Golden Grove, with silver mounts supported by silver dragon and greyhound, which has a history dating from the days of Richard III.

The wooden bowl, as we see in the mazer, became enriched with costly mounts. These additions rarely added to the utility of the vessel, but they denote its elevation into usage by more wealthy people. The plain grey or mottled and excellently potted stoneware jug, the like of which Mistress Quickly must have used to pour out the canary of Falstaff and Bardolf and the thirsty set of tapsters who surrounded the fat knight, was common enough in the early sixteenth century. But in Elizabeth’s day it added luxurious appendages to itself in the shape of silver or silver-gilt rim and lid and bands and foot.
The mazer, a wooden vessel in form like the more modern punch-bowl, mounted in silver, is the earliest type of our domestic plate. These bowls were ornamented with silver bands and silver rims, and in some cases there was a silver circular plate or boss in the centre of the vessel inside. The example we illustrate is mounted in silver-gilt with quatrefoil{89} belts. It has an inscription on the boss, “A Gift to the Parish of St. Petrock, 1490.” The wood of these mazers was usually maple, and the name is supposed to be derived from the British word masarm (maple). The Dutch word maeser means a knot of maple wood. Spenser in the sixteenth century has the lines:

Then, lo! Perigot, the pledge which I plight,
A mazer ywrought of the maple ware,
Wherein is enchased many a fair fight
Of bears and tigers that make fierce war.
Among the earliest of drinking vessels of the Middle Ages this form of the broad bowl followed the earlier horn drinking cup. Mazers were not made after the sixteenth century. The form was not confined to England, for Sir Walter Scott, in his “Lord of the Isles,” has the couplet:

Bring hither, he said, the mazers four
My noble fathers loved of yore.
In regard to some of the prices paid for mazers at auction in London, the following may convey an idea as to rarity. In 1903 a fifteenth-century mazer realized £140. In 1902 a sixteenth-century example brought £170. In 1905 a mazer dated 1527 sold for £500, but in 1908 one dated 1534 fetched the colossal price of £2,300. Certainly this is the highest price paid for maplewood. If the bowl had been all silver, and had been sold by the ounce, the sum paid would have been remarkable. But collectors are no respecters of persons, and as a rarity a mazer makes an appeal which it cannot do as a work of art.
The specimens remaining after centuries of vandalism which have come down to us from the early days differ in character. The mazer is reminiscent of Scandinavian drinking customs. To this day the Dane in drinking your health says “Scol.” Etymologists with fine imagination have linked this with skull, and sought to infer that the old Norsemen drank out of skulls. It is a myth as old as the upas-tree. Dekker in his Wonder of a Kingdom says:

Would I had ten thousand soldiers’ heads,
Their skulls set all in silver, to drink healths
To his confusion first invented war.
We may agree with the sentiment, and we could fittingly drink confusion to a modern intriguer to like end, but, for all that, the derivation is wrong. The scol of the Dane has reference to little wooden spoons used with the bowl to ladle out the liquor, much in the same manner as the punch ladle of many centuries later performed the same service. The word scull, the oar of a shallop, is the same word. Byron, wishing to pose as a wicked person, gathered a crowd of wayward spirits at Newstead who drank out of a skull.

Some Historic Standing Cups

Contemporary with the mazers are magnificent standing cups and covers, such as the “Anathema” Cup, of the date 1481, at Pembroke College, Cambridge, or the Lynn Cup, a century earlier, in possession of the corporation of King’s Lynn. It must be remembered in the contemplation of our art treasures,{93} and more especially the plate that is left to us, that the data upon which we may form conclusions are very slender. Happily much that is superlative is left to us, unscathed through centuries of civil war and plunderings and meltings-down; but often two pieces of the same period represent extreme types. One may be a merely ordinary common vessel and the other may be of most exquisite and beautiful work, which reached the summit of excellence even in its own day. Comparisons are odious. But it is as though in five centuries hence all else were swept aside and all that the twenty-fifth century had upon which to pass judgment on the eighteenth century potter were sundry ornate Wedgwood vases and certain crude cottage figures.