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Silver mugs and tankards

A perennially popular sterling silver item, mugs and tankards are both an ideal gift and a real treat to use.

Historically a status symbol in well-to-do houses, the tankard would be one of the most important items in what was known as ‘the plate cupboard’.

The illustration shows how the style evolved over the centuries, and is a good guide to what can be found in stock in our vault today.

Tankards and mugs fall into three main styles regarding shape: the straight-sided, the curvy baluster shape, and lidded, which is technically the difference between a tankard and a mug.

Children were often gifted with a miniature version when they were Christened, and these little cups remain a popular Christening gift today. Sizes are usually for a pint, a half pint, or a third of a pint for a child’s cup.

  • Vintage pint mugs cost £400  – £600
  •  Check the gauge of the rim for comfort
  • Consider engraving options, particularly if the area is thin
  • Styles usually follow the shape and decoration of the period
  • Pre 1800 examples were made in one piece and should have no side seams
  • Baluster
  • Straight sided
  • Child’s cup
  • Glass bottomed
  • Lidded

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