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An early 17th-century wine taster

Rosemary Weinstein

A silver wine taster – a small bowl used by a vintner to sample wine – has been acquired by the Museum of London (accession number: 78.161). Found on the north Thames bank in the area known as the Vintry – an area which has been associated with the wine trade since at least 1170 – it is inscribed ‘Johanes Downinge Decem 3th 1634’, with London hallmarks for 1634-5. The owner was perhaps the John Downinge recorded as joining the Coopers’ Company as an apprentice in 1633/4.

[Transactions 34(1983), pp 203 – 5; abstract by Francis Grew, 09-Dec-1997]

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