Early English examples include a silver-gilt mounted cup and cover, maker’s mark RW, London, 1590 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, accession no. 68.141.120a, b). In 1649 there were ‘six Fruit dishes of Mother of Pearle garnished about with silver gilt’ and ‘Six rich casting bottles of silver gilt, and richly garnished with mother of pearle’ in the Tower of London (The Society of Antiquaries of London, Archaeologia, ‘An Inventory and Appraisement of the Plate in the lower Jewel House of the Tower, Anno, 1649,’ London, 1851, p. 275). A similar two-handled bowl to the present example can be found in the Victoria & Albert Museum (see Glanville, op. cit. pg. 451, no. 81.).
We can also be in no doubt that mother of pearl continued its appeal long after the middle of the 17th Century. Among the hundreds of articles of mother of pearl jewellery and silver and mother of pearl snuff boxes which were reported to have been lost or stolen well into the 18th Century, we find a number of other cherished objects in these valuable materials. In 1687, for instance, a certain Richard Anis made away from Greenwich with some of his master’s goods including ‘a Mother of Pearl Spoon, the handle Silver Gilt, the fashion a Horses Leg’ (The London Gazette, London, 15-18 August 1687, p. 2b); and in 1709 John Williams, a boy servant, disappeared from his employer’s house on Great Tower Hill with ‘a Pearl Cup with a Silver Foot and a Silver Handles [sic], and a Silver Rim’ (The Post Man and the Historical Account, London, 14-16 April 1709, p. 2a)
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