An Extremely Rare Late 17th Century Provincial Mug

John Murch of Plymouth
3.7" ( 9.4cm)
4.5 oz

Of tapering cylindrical form upon a slightly flared reeded and skirted base. The lower part of the body with a wide band of vertical and alternate concave and convex fluting and with smaller running bands of arched hoops above and below, the upper one capped by upright stiff leaves. The strap handle of "S" scroll shape and reeded and applied over an embossed gadrooned girdle with further stiff leaves above. Contemporary initials S over IM are engraved to the right of the handle and just below the rim.


Phillips Auctioneers, The 1978 Review of the Year (sold for £2900)

Dreweatt Neate, 14th September, 2016, Lot 51 (probably the property of the late Mr Ian Fry)

Alastair Dickenson Ltd, 2016

Private Collection

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 Plymouth silver is rare before 1700. Occasionally, one might come across an early spoon but holloware is even harder to source. This mug has survived in extremely good condition and is struck with the maker's mark just to the right of the handle.

John Murch was born circa 1669 was apprenticed to Thomas Cory of London and Warminster on 13th August 1684. Cory was one of the most prolific silversmiths working in the West Country which, no doubt, was a major boost to Murch's own ambitions. Perhaps for reasons of competition he left Plymouth to work in Tiverton. He died in 1728.