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Silver Mounted Ship's Decanter - Cut pattern

This Ship's Decanter has a mouth blown crystal body cut in a traditional design with a matching, cut crystal stopper and a handmade hallmarked sterling silver collar.Ideal for serving Port wine: more below.

Each piece is unique, having been made by a team of craftsmen including a Master glassblower and cutter in Staffordshire England who have perfected their skills over at least 10 years. The clear lines and clarity of these decanters complement the rich colours of the liquids they will contain.

This Ship's Decanter, as it is known, has a unique, handmade hallmarked silver collar which is made thick enough to withstand a slight knock.  It was designed and made by Master Silversmith John Campbell and is part of the 'Classic' collection. This particular decanter is usually used to hold port or sherry and sometimes spirits.

The use of the Ship's decanter began in the late 18th century and it would almost certainly have been found in the Captain's cabin - no matter what size of ship. The broad base of this decanter, sometimes up to 12" in diameter, was made popular by Admiral Rodney when he used it aboard his flagship. The base was to ensure stability when at sea.

One more test of a ship's decanter is when the shortest distance from the outer edge of the pouring lip to the edge of the base be equal or greater than the outer circumference of the pouring lip. This was known as the 'Rodney' test. It would appear he knew what he was talking about.

Website sales only. Removing the wine stains from the insides of decanters has always been difficult and laborious but now no longer! All sterling silver decanters, claret jugs and vinegar bottles by JA Campbell come supplied (as of August 2014) with a complimentary crystal cleaning kit.

The results are excellent, your decanter will sparkle once more. The kit contains polished balls of stainless steel which are poured inside the decanter with a little wash up water. This is then swirled around for a couple of minutes. The beads are then poured out along with the water, and both rinsed and dried. The beads can be re-used indefinitely.

All of the decanter tops in the JA Campbell range are made by the 'spinning' method although each model is different in size and shape. The silver sheet used for this is made for us by Cookson Precious Metal and starts life as 93% of pure silver ingot mixed with 7% of pure copper and melted in a continuous casting machine producing a billet about 10" wide and 1" thick. This is cut into manageable lengths and rolled to increase the width to 1 metre and the length to produce the final thickness required. They are then cut into 1 metre by 0.5 stock sizes. Next they are packed together (about 20 sheets) into thick steel boxes with a thin dusting of talcum powder between each sheet to prevent them sticking together. Several of these boxes are then packed into a furnace and baked for around 12 hours at around 700C and allowed to cool. This process softens (anneals) the sheets which - through the rolling process - have become very hard. The sheets are then removed from the boxes, cleaned and plastic coated.

Spinning is an ancient method that is still suitable today for the making of round, hollow objects from sheet material in relatively small quantities. Kitchen utensils and lighting components are often made this way. It involves taking a disc of sheet material (in this case silver) and coaxing it while it spins rapidly over a preformed chuck or former. This chuck is screwed on to a spinning lathe and using a polished steel 'burnisher' with a long wooden handle, it is held against the body to provide leverage and under the arm of the spinner/silversmith. All Campbell decanter tops are 'spun' in 2 parts and lapped/joined together again on a lathe. The top component being thicker than the bottom to avoid accidental damage which could occur from the stopper being misplaced.

At this stage in the making the item is punched with the maker's mark, JAC in a triangle, the initials of John Campbell. It is then sent to the London Assay Office for testing of each and every component. Only if all the components prove to be better than 92.5% silver are the remaining hallmarks punched into the surface while being supported on a steel tool or stake. The English hallmarking system is one of the oldest and best forms of consumer protection and dates back to the 1400s. The reason the silver copper alloy is mixed slightly better than the 92.5% required by hallmarking law is that, in common with any 2 ingredients when they are mixed, slighly copper-rich or slightly silver-rich areas could occur and result in test failures. Using slightly more silver than necessary lessens the chance of failures and subsequent re tests which are expensive.

The item is then returned to the silversmith's workshop where it is polished using 4 grades of compound to remove all the spinning lines, file marks, blemishes and also the scrape marks caused by the Assay Office tests. The decanter tops are then ultrasonically cleaned, punched with the JA Campbell name mark and fitted on to the appropriate decanter using Plaster of Paris. Finally they are packed into fitted presentation boxes for dispatch.

The silver collar only can be suitably engraved with a message or image of your choice, making it an ideal silver wedding present, birthday gift or corporate gift. It is also possible to make the collar in other precious metals of your choice such as gold or platinum to suit another occasion or simply to add value.

In the unlikely event of damage, JA Campbell provides a replacement/repair service. All our silver mounted decanters are made up to a standard, not down to a price. We hope you get as much enjoyment out of using it as we did making it! Why not look at a coaster to match this item?

Engraving example image

You can be assured that all
JA Campbell products are made up to a standard and not down to a price.


Engraving is a wonderful opportunity to personalize a gift. The addition of a minimum of initials, a name, a name and date, plus the occasion will cover most situations. More can be added, if required, such as a personal message.

Suggested position:

Around silver collar

Recommended maximum characters: 80

For more information regarding our engraving services, which include hand, glass, heraldic and logo engraving, please click here, or telephone Colin or John Campbell on 01277 217829 to discuss.

Compose your personal engraving message after adding this product to your basket.

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Our services


Gift wrapping

Each item purchased is packed into a luxury presentation box.

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Engraving service

Engraving your silver or crystal adds that extra personal individuality to your sterling silver gift.

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Our skilled silversmiths can perform many repairs on worn or damaged silver items.

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Swap your old silverware

We offer a swap service where you send in your old silver items.

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