Rare 300-year-old silver mug bearing Norwich hallmark to go under the hammer
- Credit: Archant
A rare 17th century silver mug is set to go under the hammer later this month when it leaves the county for the first time in more than 300 years.
From a private collection of silver, the Charles II child's mug has been given an estimate of £2,000 to £4,000 and will go on sale in Cheffins' jewellery, silver, watches and wine sale on Thursday, December 12.
It is believed that the silver artefact may not have left Norfolk since it was made over three centuries ago but will cross the border to Cambridgeshire to be sold.
The dainty mug, which is lot 687 in the auction, was made in around 1680 by silversmith Thomas Havers and bears the hallmark of the Norwich assay office.
A round baluster form with a high straight sided and reeded rim, with a simple scroll handle to match, it is no more than nine centimetres high by eight and half centimetres wide.
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Steven Collins, head of jewellery, silver and watches at Cheffins Fine Art, said: "The Norwich hallmark on this mug will make it extremely interesting to collectors and, indeed, to museums worldwide. I'm expecting it to attract a great deal of interest.
"This has greatly increased the interest of this item given the rarity of silver that comes on the market from Norwich."
Norwich was once home to one of many English provincial assay offices whose job was the independent testing and marking of precious metal items before being offered for sale.
There are now just four assay offices left in Britain, in London, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Sheffield.
Although silversmiths were working in Norwich since the 12th century, the first hallmarks there were recorded in 1565. In 1706 the office closed and ceased marking and as a result there are few items of silver in preservation bearing the mark.
The sale, nicknamed this year Clarets and Carats, starts at 10am and the full catalogue can be found on the Cheffins' website .
Viewing of the items in the sale starts on Monday, December 9, from 10am to 5pm, and continues on Tuesday, December 10, and Wednesday, December 11, from 10am to 6pm.