702
702

PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTION.

A William III silver molinet/chocolate mill, Anthony Nelme, London, circa 1700
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702

PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTION.

A William III silver molinet/chocolate mill, Anthony Nelme, London, circa 1700
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

From Earth to Fire

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A William III silver molinet/chocolate mill, Anthony Nelme, London, circa 1700
the eight serpentine blades each pierced with beaded and scrolling foliage, lightly turned wood handle, the stem with scratch weight 7-5-0, maker's mark struck twice only
36.2cm., 14 1/4 in. long
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Provenance

Sotheby's, New York, 16 October 1996, lot 103

Catalogue Note

Drinking chocolate was introduced into England in the middle of the 17th century, with the earliest known silver chocolate pot hallmarked for London, 1685. The tool needed to mix and aerate the drink was known as a molinet or chocolate mill and was designed to fit through the cover opening of the pot. They were usually composed entirely of wood, or green bottle glass, although examples in silver are known, they are very scarce

The beverage as prepared in the 17th and 18th centuries was boiled with claret and mixed with eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla and spices. Thick with cocoa butter, the mixture had to then be milled, whirled between the hands, to produce a liquid of uniform consistency and desired froth.

The technique is described in John Worlidge's, Vinetum Britannicum, published in 1676: '...be sure whilst it is boyling, keep it stirring, and when it is off the fire, whirr it with your hand mill...and the rough end in the liquor, causes an equal mixture of the liquor with your chocolatte and raises a head or froth over it...'

Michael Clayton refers to other examples in his book, The Collector's Dictionary of the Silver and Gold of Great Britain and North America, Woodbridge, 1985, p. 248.

From Earth to Fire

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London