Tankard

Tankard

1665

Silver gilt

Diameter: 20.7 x 14.3 cm (8 1/8 x 5 5/8 in.)

Gift of Grace Studebaker Fish in memory of her father, John Mohler Studebaker 1936.352

Fun Fact

Tankards, with their characteristic hinged covers, scroll handles, and lobed thumbpieces, were used to drink beer or ale.

Description

Silver fulfilled a prominent role in projecting wealth, status, power, and ritual in British life during the 1600s and 1700s. Elaborate forms such as two-handled cups, trophies, trays, and centerpieces not only represented wealth in their sheer silver weight but also provided royal and aristocratic owners a surface for displaying engraved coats of arms, projecting identity and social status. Less wealthy individuals made do with more functional items such as this tankard. The empty cartouches on the drinking vessel suggest that it was produced without a specific patron in mind and that a coat of arms was intended to be added at a later time.

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