A rare piece of early German silver. This charming little 17th century silver taster has scalloped borders and shaped side handles. The centre is embossed with a single flower stem surrounded by simple leaf motifs picked out with prick dot chasing. Traces of the original gilt finish, Weight 41 grams, 1.3 troy ounces. Width across handles 11.5 cm. Height 2.7 cms. Top 10.4 x 9.8 cms. German silver hallmarks stamped around the edge for Nuremberg circa 1660. Maker Reinhold Ruhl, noted for his fine quality cups and beakers.
This early continental silver taster is in good condition with no damage or restoration. Excellent patina. The embossed decoration has plenty of definition. Possible repairs to the side handles.
Please note that this item is not new and will show moderate signs of wear commensurate with age. Reflections in the photograph may detract from the true representation of this item.
The saucer shaped taster was already in use as early as the 14th century BC in Minoan Crete and has been essential in the production of wine right through to the present time. It is used by the sommelier to determine a wine’s quality by assessing the color, clarity, bouquet and taste. The majority of wine tasters in existence are French. The owners often engraved their name on the taster whose single flat handle often accommodated a neck cord. Very few English wine tasters were made because wine was not a national product however a number were produced during a short period in the second half of the 17th century. These English examples are rare and anything after this date is even rarer. The early English examples were in the shape of a flat bowl, often with simple wire handles (these often have original rough soldering which can appear “blobby”).