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Silver Wine Taster - Tastevin

A handmade hallmarked sterling silver Tastevin or Wine taster with a cast serpent ring handle and domed centre. Rather traditional in style, it fits both the 'Appetite' and 'Classic' collections. 

It is an essential if you are going to look the part at the wine tasting or it can be a very different silver present for the wine buff who has nearly everything. An essential for any luxury yacht or plane or large house where the subject of wine tasting may arise.

Obviously the main use is for tasting wines before you buy, but it will sit on the bar on display as a talking point until needed.

For those interested, John Campbell describes the making of this item. It consists of 2 components, a body and a handle. First a disc 1.1mm thick by 4.75" diameter is spun over a brass chuck on a spinning lathe. It is trapped between 2 centres and while spinning rapidly, the blank is coaxed over the chuck using a polished steel burnisher which the spinner(silversmith) fits under his armpit, using his body weight to hand-force the silver onto the chuck. The silver wants to buckle like any flat sheet of material would when being moved off the flat. It is the skill of the silversmith which prevents this from happening. During the forming of the silver, it will work-harden and require annealing. This is to make the silver red hot and then quenching it in water. During firings, JA Campbell use a process which coats the silver with a shield, preventing the oxygen coming into contact with the silver 925 alloy which, because it contains a tiny amount of copper (used to strengthen the otherwise very soft silver) will react and tint the silver slightly purple at the surface. Most silversmiths plate over this "fire stain" to cover it up, only for it to resurface in the future after the silver plate has worn off. At JA Campbell, our standards dictate that we do not allow the fire stain to happen in the first place.

The handle is cast using the 'lost wax' method. This involves making wax models of the handle by injecting wax into rubber moulds and building them up into a tree-like form with a central stem and covering with plaster of Paris. The wax is then melted out of the plaster and replaced by molten silver. Once cooled, the plaster is broken away, the silver handles cut away from the tree and pre-polished along with the bowl. The 2 components are then fitted and soldered together using hallmarking quality, easy silver solder.

At this stage, the article is punched with the maker's mark, JAC in a triangle, which are the initials of founder John Campbell. It is then taken to the London Assay Office to be scraped and tested. Once a positive result has been received from the laboratory confirming that the article has been made with metal at least 92.5% pure silver, the remaining hallmarks are punched into the surface. This independent hallmarking process which began in the 1400s has become one of the world's oldest, trusted and most secure forms of protection for the consumer.

Upon arrival back at our workshop, the hallmarks are inspected and 'set', that is, to remove any small dents put in by the punching process. Following this the JA Campbell name punch is applied to the base.

The polishing process can now begin.  First using coarse compound, moving up to medium and lastly a fine compound until the high polish associated with silver is achieved. Four grades are used and around 20 different operations employed.

You can spoil yourself and buy one for your own use or alternatively as a special present for someone close. It is also very suitable as a silver wedding present, a  birthday present, a corporate gift or incentive gift. It can even be made in gold for the very special golden wedding present.

As with most JA Campbell products, this item is suitable for engraving to personalize as a gift. The design features and quality in every item made by our craftsmen are unique.

In the unlikely event of damage, even substantial, JA Campbell provide a full repair service. You can be assured that all our products are made up to a standard, not down to a price. Nothing leaves the Brentwood workshop until Master Silversmith John Campbell is completely satisfied. See our blog www.diaryofasilversmith.co.uk  - Damaged Chalice

This sterling silver wine taster is a pleasure to use today and a great investment to be handed down to future generations. As with most things in life, your silver will need occasional cleaning. This does not need to be a chore and can even be quite therapeutic. From as little as a quick wash-up to the occasional buff up to remove light tarnish and an occasional polish using silver cleaner such as Silvo. (Buff up means to ploish rather hard using a clean yellow duster.)

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:

On outside of body

Recommended maximum characters: 240

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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