Salts, Casters & Muffineers


Casters


Sugar casters really came into fashion after the reformation of the Monarchy, whilst there is one known example from the Commonwealth period, their popularity really took off during the reign of Charles II.


Casters originally came in sets of three. A large caster for sugar flanked by 2 smaller casters, one for pepper and one for a spice - usually mustard or cayenne pepper. Initially they were simplistic in design, taking from the Germanic and Flemish influenced English silversmiths of the late 17th century, but this quickly evolved as the influx of Huguenot silversmiths brought with them not only their refined silversmithing techniques, but also the more intricate and fancy designs that were fashionable in France. 


Surviving examples of lighthouse casters are rare, as they were only made during a short period of time, about 25 years or so. Few examples remain and only a handful of complete sets of three are known to still exist. The silversmithing techniques the Huguenots brought with them from France allowed the silver design to rapidly evolve in England. The relatively simple lighthouse form first became ornate, great examples of this can be found by Pierre Harache, to be replaced with baluster shaped examples, great exponents of this were Charles Adam who was followed by his apprentice Thomas Bamford. From this point on the caster has been played with in many ways, from the heavily ornate cut-card decorated examples found by Paul de Lamerie, to simplistic modern examples, and the whole range between.


The caster has gone from strength to strength and lasted well over three hundred years from its inception after the reformation, to today where it still serves as a very practical and decorative piece of silverware.