The shallow circular bowl chased with tulip floral and leaf decoration,
the sides with leaves and the center showing the upright bloom sided by leaves.
rim prick-engraved with the original marital initials H over I.A, and "1661",
above a line of punched beading, the sides with clipped twist handles
Although there are several records of wine tasters in English 14th and 15th century manuscripts,
the majority of early British silver wine tasters are from the last half of the 17th century.
There were two forms: the above form with a shallow bowl and 2 wire loop or scroll handles,
(an Iberian form, reminiscent of the Portuguese tembladeras and bernegals);
and a heavier saucer form (originating in Bordeaux, France) with sloping sides and domed center.
Although there is a recent dispute as to this Iberian form as a "wine taster",
Charles Oman, in Caroline Silver, with his "ex cathedra identifications ...
... regarding some of the most important pieces of Caroline plate",
acknowledges the French 'Bordeaux' and Portuguese forms equally.
Note : Much small silver was still unmarked at this time.
This taster does bear the pricked initials of the original owners to one side of the rim,
the date "1661" to the opposite, enabling approximate dating.
Condition : Excellent with wear appropriate to age and usage; handles appear reattached to sides
4.5" Wide Over Handles / 1.52 oz.