Silver Beer Mug or Tankard
A handmade hallmarked heavy gauge sterling silver beer mug available as a one pint or a half pint. A reproduction of a sterling silver mug made in 1734 by silversmith Walter Brind of London. Part of the JA Campbell 'Classic' collection. Sometimes these beer mugs are referred to, incorrectly, as tankards. The difference is that a tankard has a lid, usually with a hinge and billet (thumb piece) A sterling silver mug of this quality is something that will really give the owner, friends and family, the 'wow' factor. A suitable silver present for so many occasions, especially a 21st birthday. (Does a boy ever become a man?)
A great heirloom to pass on to future generations. The silver beer mug is ideal for engraving with a message of your choice, names or logos to personalise the gift. Silver has become a subtle status symbol in recent years and now could be the ideal time to buy.
A half pint mug and a quarter pint Christening mug are also available.
Every item that JA Campbell produces is made at the Brentwood workshop and the manufacturing process is described below by Master Silversmith John Campbell. We can also make this item in carat golds or platinum.
This silver mug is one of only 4 items of hollow-ware in the range made by the 'sinking 'method. A very thick blank (1.6mm) is held over a hollow chuck on the 'spinning lathe' and with a highly polished ball tool,the centre is 'sunk' into the chuck. This has the effect of thinning the centre, leaving the edge thick where strength and support will be required. After annealing (making red hot to soften the work-hardening bowl), the body is drafted onto its pre-section spinning chuck shape and annealed again. The final 'bellied' shape is obtained by the use of a 'section' chuck; this is a chuck, which comes apart in smaller sections to allow passage through the narrow neck of the bellied body. The time taken to produce the body alone is approx one and a half hours.
Next, the handle and base need to be produced. These are made by the 'lost wax method' where molten wax is injected into rubber moulds. Once solidified, the 'waxes' are invested into Plaster of Paris and once this has set, the wax is melted out and replaced by molten silver. The origin of this process is not new and is believed to have been practised several thousand years ago by earlier civilisations. After casting, all 3 components are 'dressed' and pre-polished for the final assembly of the mug. Silver solder of hallmarking quality is used to join the 3 components together, using a gas and air torch. This is so much easier, stronger, neater today and more precise than the coke forge which the original silversmith Walter Brind would have used.
Next the maker's mark, JAC in a triangle, the initials of John Archibald Campbell are punched into the surface and then it goes to the London Assay office housed in Goldsmiths' Hall where it has been for 600 years. Samples of the 3 components are analysed and if 'up to scratch', the remaining hallmarks are punched into the surface alongside the JAC makers punch. This is one of the earliest most trusted and best forms of consumer protection.
Upon return to the silversmith's workshop, the slight dents from the hallmarking process are carefully 'planished' down and the mug is ready for polishing. This process, like many of the silversmith processes, has become much easier with the advent of electricity and modern polishing compounds, 4 of which are used to remove, firstly, file marks, hammer marks and spinning lines right through to rouge, the last of the 4 which imparts that beautiful lustre for which silver is renowned. Finally the beer mug is cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaning tank which removes the polish residues from all nooks and crannies. The total time for the 1pt version is approximately 5 hours.
A half pint mug and a quarter pint Christening mug are also available. The manufacturing times are lower for these and the spinning techniques slightly different.
We can also supply this item with a hand-hammered finish at a slightly higher cost.
From this production description, it is obvious the care and attention to detail taken by John, Colin and team of craftsmen. A full repair service is available if required.