An Extremely Rare 18th Century Dipper

?B in script
circa 1770
8 1/2 x 14 in, (21.3 x 35 cm)

The cylindrical body with moulded wires at the top and base and the front engraved with a crest and monogram. The large tapering canon handle applied at a steep angle, with 3 reeded bands and suspension ring at the end

3850 GBP

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This extraordinary rarity is one of only two dippers that we have seen in silver. They were used for dispensing rum from a barrel aboard ship which accounts for the steeply angled handle. The only other example to pass through our hands was by Hester Bateman and had an ovoid bowl. This form is more commonly seen with a wooden handle and bowl made from a coconut.

Despite exhaustive research we have been unable to identify the marks but are confident that it is colonial. The date of manufacture is also difficult to determine as there are conflicting stylistic elements: the handle is more reminiscent of the early 18th century whilst the style of engraving is towards the end of that century. We have suggested a date of 1770 which is in line with the Bateman example mentioned above.

The monogram appears to be A.D.C