Antique silver child's mug

Antique silver child's mug


Early 20th century silver tulip-shaped child's cup sitting on a collet base and with a pleasing and easy to hold C-shaped handle. Its simple elegance means that it would make a suitable silver christening gift for a girl or a boy and is perfect for engraving.

An ever-popular christening gift, children's silver mugs have been around for several centuries. A lidless drinking vessel with a handle, a silver child's mug was traditionally used for serving hot drinks. Although many were made in pewter, silver was the preferred material because it kept the drink hot and did not taint its taste.

Although mugs have been made in a range of graduated sizes (gill, half-pint, pint and quart being the most popular), small mugs were made specifically for children. Some 18th century boarding schools listed a mug as a mandatory item that a boy should take to school.

Most early examples of children's mugs are of a plain baluster shape, designed for their sturdiness and practicality, and in the 1760s a barrel-shaped design appeared, often simply decorated with engraved hoops.

By the mid-19th century, ornate Victorian silver children's mugs emerged featuring exuberant floral and foliate decoration, elaborate engraving sometimes referencing nursery rhymes or traditional fables, and later the inclusion of gothic style cues too.

Although Art Nouveau and Art Deco silver children's mugs can be found, most made in the 20th century are recreations of popular styles of the past.

Possibly the oldest manufacturing silversmith in the world, Barnard Brothers made pieces of the finest order. The large silver-gilt baptismal font used at the baptisms of members of the British Royal Family is one example.


Height 100 mm / 4"
Diameter 60 mm / 2 "
Weight 175 g (5.63 troy ozs)