Maker's mark attributed to St John Hoyte
(David M. Mitchell, Silversmiths in Elizabethan and Stuart London, p.488)
Height: 20.5 cm
Weight: 1076 gr
Provenance: Swiss private collection.
This Charles II chinoiserie tankard is a very rare model in terms of decoration as it was made by a maker specialising in chinoiserie embellished items. David Mitchell’s volume lists a number of cups and porringers marked by this maker, but tankards and flagons seem to be the most popular choice for such a fashionable and highly executed decoration.
Chinoiserie decoration at this period is normally thought of as being flat chased but the technique used here is a mixture of both embossing and flat chasing as well as fine mat work, making this tankard a far more expensive example at the time and an exceptionally historical piece today.
It displays a highly refined execution at the highest moment of the chinoiserie trend, normally considered to be between 1682 and 1690.
A Charles II Provincial Silver Tankard
Mark of John Dowthwaite (Maker's Mark only, struck once in cover, once on handle and twice on base) Newcastle, Circa 1670.
Provenance: Koopman Rare Art, Private Collection.
A further example of a 17th Century tankard with an embossed decoration is a piece made in Newcastle and dating from circa 1670. It bears the mark of John Dowthwaite and is decorated with putti within a naturalistic background.
The comparison between these two examples, both exceptionally executed, shows that the use of various techniques normally associated with Victorian items, was also adopted as a more refined option in the 17th Century.