Every conceivable kind of silver cup has been used for drinking many different kinds of liquids, including alcohol, down the centuries. The Scandinavians manufactured silver tankards, silver cups, silver mugs as well as silver goblets as long ago as the 15th century. The English and Germans quickly followed suit, and the Americans were producing silver cups, mugs and goblets by the mid 17th century. Click here to see the antique sterling silver goblets displayed at Warners Antique Silver Dealers.
Early antique silver tankards and mugs were substantial pieces of silver, being wide and tapering outward at the top, and having a skirted base. 16thC examples were often decorated with scenes from nature such as flowers or animals. The handles were sometimes very elaborate, often being serpents or twisted vines. The thumb piece for tankards (a mug with a lid) often had cherub faces or lions heads in their design.
Long before tableware was common place, silver mugs and cups were often given as gifts, and the smallest ones for babies as christening gifts. An array of sterling silver christening mugs on our website can be seen by clicking here. In those days, as today, sterling silver was seen as a sign of wealth and good fortune.
More details about the magnificent antique silver Georgian tankard displayed above can be found by clicking here.
We stock sterling silver for every special occasion, including Christenings, 21st birthdays and weddings.
Tapered cylindrical antique silver mugs and antique silver tankards are typical of the second half of the 18th century. Click here to view more details about the magnificent Georgian silver mug displayed here.
Strictly speaking, regardless of size, silver tankards have lids and silver mugs do not.
Just like the silver mug shown, the majority are pint sized. Smaller examples are generally known as Christening Mugs, an example of which can be seen by clicking here
In the 15th century, antique silver mugs and tankards werer primarily the preserve of the rich. Pewter or even wooden mugs would be used by those not so fortunate.
By the 16th Ccentury lids were introduced to protect the contents from flies and othe unsavoury habits frequently found in the ale houses of the time!
Warners Antique Silver displays several examples of antique silver mugs and tankards for you to enjoy.