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Miniature coffee pot

Miniature coffee pot

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1720 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Clayton, David (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Denton Welch

  • Museum number:

    M.48:1, 2-1949

  • Gallery location:

    Silver, Room 65, The Whiteley Galleries, case 21 []

This miniature coffee pot is a toy. The term toy included any knick-knack or fashionable trinket for adults, as well as a child’s plaything. Silver toys like this one copied the exact details and proportions of normal sized pieces and came in a variety of subjects and sizes, ranging from domestic utensils to elaborate furniture.

There are several explanations for them. They might have been intended to furnish dolls’ houses. They might have been miniature trade samples. They might have been practice pieces for apprentices. They might have been fashionable novelties for adults to collect or they might simply have been playthings for rich children. In 1571, the daughter of Henry II of France ordered a set of small silver ‘pots, bowls, plates and other articles’ to give to a royal child.

The high point of production in London was the period 1700-1750. Because they were light and small, silver toys are not fully hallmarked. The form of the maker’s or retailer’s mark helps to date them.

Physical description

Silver, tapering with straight spout set at right angles to the handle of turned wood. Domed lid with knop (detachable).

Place of Origin

London (made)


ca. 1720 (made)


Clayton, David (maker)

Materials and Techniques


Marks and inscriptions

Mark of DC for David Clayton


Height: 2.5 in, Width: 2.875 in

Object history note

Bequest - Denton Welch
Acquisition RF: 49 / 263

Descriptive line

Silver, London ca.1720, mark of David Clayton

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Houart, V., Miniature Silver Toys, 1981. pp. 174, Pl. 213
Poliakoff, M., Silver Toys and Miniatures V&A pp.15, Pl. 24

Labels and date

London, around 1720
Mark of David Clayton
Denton Welch Bequest
M.48:1-2,-1949 []


Silver; Wood


Children & Childhood; Metalwork; Tea, Coffee & Chocolate wares


Metalwork Collection

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