CHARLES II PROVINCIAL SILVER WINE TASTER, England, c1670 Maker's Mark Only (Indistinct - "H"?), possibly West Country
The shallow circular bowl with punched stylized flowers and sided by twin wire-work s-scroll handles, the interior centering a six petaled flower within a beaded roundel, the rim with contemporary scratched initials "H" over "IM", marked verso with rubbed maker's mark - possibly H
Although there are several records of wine tasters in English 14th and 15th century manuscripts, the earliest British silver wine tasters are from the 17th century, with very few being made after 1750. Most from the 18th and 19th centuries come from France.
There were two forms: the above form with a shallow bowl and 2 wire loop handles, and a later heavier form with sloping sides and domed center to enable vinters to carry them in their pockets without damage. Interestingly, wine tasters are an outgrowth of small tasters made during the medieval period to taste contents of bowls, to convince guests that the food was not poisoned.
3.5" Diameter Over Handles / 2.1 oz.