Dating english pewter
Another German piece, this flask (' Prismenflasche' to give it its proper name) dates from the late17th century.
The decoration is in a technique known as 'wriggle work' and is of a very high standard.
As happens with many decorative items, the date of 1531, which is scratched onto one of the panels, is a later addition to make it seem even older.
However over the next few hundred years, the use of pewter became more common with folks from the lower social classes.
You can make out the initials of the former owner, M. The drip tray is now thought to be a replacement as it does not match the quality of the rest of the work.
The shape is, for perhaps obvious reasons, known as the bellfooted pattern and, although typically English in manufacture, the original influence was Dutch, a nation with whom the English traded heavily during the 16th and 17th centuries.
Indeed it is often said that beer tastes best from a pewter tankard which also has the advantage of keeping the contents cold.
Made around 1610 by Caspar Enderlein of Nuremburg, this dish is one of a handful of identical pieces by Enderlein of which only a few now survive, including one in the Louvre.
Unfortunately this was said to have led to abuses of power.