SMP Logo
SM Publications
Silver Salon Forums - The premier site for discussing Silver.
SMP | Silver Salon Forums | SSF - Guidelines | SSF - FAQ | Silver Sales

In this Forum we discuss the silver of the United Kingdom, as well as British Colonial silver and Old Sheffield Plate.

Past British - Irish Sterling topics/threads worth a look.

How to Post Photos

Want to be a Moderator?
customtitle open  SMP Silver Salon Forums
tlineopen  British / Irish Sterling
tline3open  "Lord" Bertie's Mug

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search

ForumFriend SSFFriend: Email This Page to Someone! next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   "Lord" Bertie's Mug
swarter
Moderator

Posts: 2920
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 04-25-2005 10:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This quart mug, bearing only a maker's mark, belonged to Albemarle Bertie, the ninth Earl of Lindsey (self-styled "Lord Bertie"), who inherited his Earldom late in life, after the passing of the eighth Earl who died without issue. Prior to assuming the title, he had a long military career, rising to the rank of General in 1803. There is in the Peerage records a gap of 31 years between his enlistment in 1762 and his promotion to Major General in 1793, during which he may have been serving somewhere else in the Empire than in England itself. Had he been in the American Colonies, this mug could be of American origin. I have so far been unable to gain access to military records of the period, nor have I been able to identify the mark, which could be English or American (or of some other colony). Any help would be appreciated.

Below is a copy of the catalog entry for this item. In another thread there was a question regarding cataloging methods, so I have presented the information in that form, for those who might be interested.

quote:

NUMBER:
MAKER: I P (UNTRACED)
LOCATION: ENGLISH OR AMERICAN
LIFE DATES:
WORKING DATES:
DATE OF MANUFACTURE: 1782 OR EARLIER
OBJECT: QUART MUG (SILVER MOUNTED)

PERIOD: GEORGIAN OR COLONIAL/FEDERAL
STYLE: STRAIGHT-SIDED (TAPERED)
MATERIAL: SILVER AND WOOD
DIMENSIONS: HT 6 1/4 in (160 mm);
DIA LIP 4 in (100 mm); DIA BASE
4 3/4 in (120 mm); HANDLE HT 5 in
LENGTH 2 3/4 in
WEIGHT: N/A
MARK: IP ROMAN CAPS IN A
RECTANGLE BELOW LIP ABOVE HANDLE


DESCRIPTION: STRAIGHT-SIDED TAPERED
QUART MUG; 11 MAPLE (?) WOOD
STAVES ENCIRCLED BY 1/2 in.
SILVER HOOPS; MIDDLE AND LOWER
HOOPS 6-REEDED; SMOOTH DOUBLE-
SIDED UPPER HOOP OVER LIP
SUBTENDED OUTSIDE BY RAISED RIDGE
ABOVE 13 HANGING LOBATE CUT-
CARD LAPPETS OVERLAPPING STAVES;
HARDWOOD HANDLE WITH SILVER
FERRULES EACH MOUNTED ON EIGHT-
LOBED CUT-CARD ROSETTE; SIX-
POINTED LONG-RAYED SILVER STAR
MOUNTED ON INSIDE BOTTOM
DECORATION: BERTIE CREST ON FRONT OF
LIP

INSCRIPTION: `Albemarle Bertie 1782'
IN SCRIPT ON BACK OF LIP CENTERED
ABOVE HANDLE

REFERENCES: `THE COMPLETE PEERAGE
1932 VOL VIII p24 ed BY DOUBLEDAY
& De WALDEN; BURKE'S PEERAGE;
FAIRBAIRN'S CRESTS; BUHLER & HOOD
(YALE)
DATE OF ACQUISITION: 6 JUNE 1997
COST:
SOURCE:
NOTES: ALBEMARLE BERTIE (b. 17 SEPT
1744 - d.18 SEPT 1818) BECAME 9TH
EARL OF LINDSEY (LINCOLNSHIRE)
1809; ENTERED BRITISH ARMY 1762;
MAJ. GEN. 1793; LIEUT. GEN. 1798;
GEN. 1803; 1st MARRIED 7 MAY 1794
(MAY HAVE BEEN POSTED OVERSEAS
FOR FOR MUCH OF MILITARY CAREER
PRIOR TO 1793?; `IP' MARK
ATTRIBUTED TO JOHN POTWINE BY
SELLER (WHO PURCHASED IT IN
ENGLAND) BUT IT DOES NOT SEEM TO
MATCH CLOSELY ANY PUBLISHED POTWINE
MARK ALTHOUGH IT RESEMBLES SOMEWHAT
AN ATTRIBUTED POTWINE MARK (YALE)
SAID TO BE SIMILAR TO ONE OF JOB
PIERCE (ALSO YALE) WHICH THE MARK
ON THE MUG ALSO GENERALLY RESEMBLES
(NOTE THAT ENGRAVED NAME CREST AND
DATE MAY HAVE BEEN APPLIED LATER
THAN MAKER'S MARK WHICH SEEMS TO
SHOW MORE WEAR); DOES NOT CLOSELY
MATCH ANY OF DRAWN MARKS IN
GRIMWADE OR REVISED JACKSON - IF
ITS OWNER (OR PRESENTER) HAD
SERVED IN THE COLONIES THE MUG
COULD BE OF AMERICAN ORIGIN (?);
SIGNIFICANCE OF ENGRAVED 1782 DATE
NOT KNOWN, BUT BRITISH TROOPS WERE
BEING WITHDRAWN FROM THE COLONIES
UNTIL THE END OF 1783; POTWINE MAY
HAVE EVEN RETIRED FROM SILVER-
MAKING BEFORE THAT DATE.

IP: Logged

Silver Lyon

Posts: 363
Registered: Oct 2004

iconnumber posted 05-12-2005 01:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Silver Lyon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would suggest that this is the maker's mark of JAMES PHIPPS of 40 Gutter Lane, London (just by the Goldsmiths' Hall!! - the Father of the better known Thomas Phipps of 'Phipps and Robinson'.
James Phipps (fl.1756-1783) specialised in silver mounts, and his mark (on its own - the silver mounts are generally too light to require hallmarking at this date) is often found on such pieces as coconut cups.

[This message has been edited by Silver Lyon (edited 05-12-2005).]

IP: Logged

swarter
Moderator

Posts: 2920
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 05-12-2005 02:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you, Silver Lyon. I was aware of the exemption for small silver items, which is why I never fully accepted the original American attribution, which became even more tenuous after I traced the provenance.

I seldom look as critically at a mark itself, as I did in this case, as it is often unnecessary when other marks are present. My impression, though, is that British marks are better finished than American ones, which did not always come from professional die makers. As can be seen in the second enlarged photo, taken with different lighting than the first, and enhanced (but not retouched) to show the irregularities, this mark has an element of crudeness, which prevented me from ruling out an American origin entirely. In your experience, is this generalization correct?

Based on period and speciality, your suggestion of James Phipps I would make him a likely prospect. I have seen only drawn marks, which are insufficient in and of themselves to be definitive in the absence of corroborating information. In order to complete my rcords, perhaps you could tell me on what this attribution is based - have you (or have you seen) actual examples of his mark, or have you published references with photographs of same? I would appreciate any further information along these lines.

I would also be interested to know if you (or any other readers of this thread) have or have seen other surviving examples of silver mounted staved vessels of this sort from this period. I have no idea how common these are (or were) - it would seem that if they were more used or less well cared for than this one seems to have been, they could fall apart quite easily after the wood dried out and shrank following regular use.

IP: Logged

Silver Lyon

Posts: 363
Registered: Oct 2004

iconnumber posted 05-12-2005 02:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Silver Lyon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So many questions!

I will find an example or two of IP to post alongside your pieces.

Yes, I agree that most London maker's stamps START OUT crisp and good -they wear out, though, and can appear in a worn state -
IP makes a great deal of stuff and employs quite a few different punches - this one is distictive because of the bump (caused by wear and tear) on the top of the 'P'.

American maker's stamps are, as you state, often less sophisticated - especially in the colonial period. Simply because, as you state, the necessesary skills were not always present (sometimes, as with Robert Cruickshank in Montreal they bring their London punch with them!) This is however a generalization and dangerous therefore!!

IP ascription is from experience.

Mugs of this sort are RARE - I have encountered a set of four, two pair and two singletons in 40 odd years (that I have noted - ALL PINT VERSIONS - I haven't noted a quart one!!) - some with and some without silver liners (Set by IP like yours c.1780; pair by HB liner marked for 1781; pair by TB each piece marked for 1791; one by TP IP, 1795!; one unmarked.) - I imagine that they were not too common originally and that the survival rate is bad. (Remember that after 1791 one might expect the mounts to be hallmarked)
You will notice that all the above are London makers.
The aristocratic provenance of yours may mean that it has spent much of its life safe in a strongroom - it is truly a beautiful object!
Hope this helps smile

[This message has been edited by Silver Lyon (edited 05-12-2005).]

IP: Logged

swarter
Moderator

Posts: 2920
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 05-12-2005 03:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Excellent! Thank you very much - there is no substitute for (your) experience. There wouldn't have been so many questions if it weren't so rare (Although my memory may not be as good as yours, I believe this is the only example I have encountered on this side of the Atlantic)! Regardless of how it arose (the P in this example seems to have elements cut at different levels) the "bump" on the P renders it unique; it and the existence of like pieces by the same maker should be clinchers. I look forward to your supporting pictures.

IP: Logged

Silver Lyon

Posts: 363
Registered: Oct 2004

iconnumber posted 10-26-2005 12:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Silver Lyon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
These are not my photographs, but kindly sent by Christie's South Kensington in London.

But, at last, a piece of James Phipps for comparison! Note the handling of the decoration on the rim.

There is a (worn) mark on the rim too!

IP: Logged

tmockait

Posts: 963
Registered: Jul 2004

iconnumber posted 10-26-2005 01:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tmockait     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can offer a couple of suggestions if you are interested in tracing his military career. The period in which he is missing from the record is roughly that from the ending of the Seven Years War (1757-63) to the beginning of the Wars of the French Revolution (1792-1814, intermittantly). Officers were often put on half pay (inactive service) during peace time to save money. Another possiblity is that he served in the British Indian Army (different from the British Army in India). The best way to trace his career might be via his regiment. The Dictionary of National Biography should have the details of his life. His regiment might have a museum with a web page. The National Army Museum in Chelsea does have a web page and records on the regiments. The Public Record Office in Kew Garden could also help. If he did serve in India, the India Office Records, an archive in Lambeth, might also have info on him. Let me know if you run into difficulties. I have done a lot of work at these archives.

Good luck,
Tom

[This message has been edited by tmockait (edited 10-26-2005).]

IP: Logged

swarter
Moderator

Posts: 2920
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 10-26-2005 02:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
at last, a piece of James Phipps for comparison!

Nice coconut cup. Thanks for remembering.

Tom: can any of these archives be accessed without going to England?

[This message has been edited by swarter (edited 10-26-2005).]

IP: Logged

tmockait

Posts: 963
Registered: Jul 2004

iconnumber posted 10-26-2005 03:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tmockait     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Swarter,

Here are links to web pages for the National Army Museum, the PRO, the India Office, and the Imperial War Museum (which deals mainly with 20th century conflicts). Some records are online, and the PRO offers research services for a fee. However, you might get some one to answer a simple question for you.

Good luck,
Tom
National Army Museum
UK - The National Archives
British Library collections
Imperial War Museum Collections

IP: Logged

All times are ET

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.46a


1. Public Silver Forums (open Free membership) - anyone with a valid e-mail address may register. Once you have received your Silver Salon Forum password, and then if you abide by the Silver Salon Forum Guidelines, you may start a thread or post a reply in the New Members' Forum. New Members who show a continued willingness to participate, to completely read and abide by the Guidelines will be allowed to post to the Member Public Forums.
Click here to Register for a Free password

2. Private Silver Salon Forums (invitational or $ donation membership) - The Private Silver Salon Forums require registration and special authorization to view, search, start a thread or to post a reply. Special authorization can be obtained in one of several ways: by Invitation; Annual $ Donation; or via Special Limited Membership. For more details click here (under development).

3. Administrative/Special Private Forums (special membership required) - These forums are reserved for special subjects or administrative discussion. These forums are not open to the public and require special authorization to view or post.


| Home | Order | The Guide to Evaluating Gold & Silver Objects | The Book of Silver
| Update BOS Registration | Silver Library | For Sale | Our Wants List | Silver Dealers | Speakers Bureau |
| Silversmiths | How to set a table | Shows | SMP | Silver News |
copyright © 1993 - 2020 SM Publications
All Rights Reserved.
Legal & Privacy Notices