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  • Place of origin:

    Sheffield (made)

  • Date:

    early 19th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Sheffield plate, with a turned satinwood bottom

  • Credit Line:

    R. F. Norton Gift

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

By the 1750s coasters were popular drinking accessories. Gentlemen could not drink freely until the end of the meal when the ladies had withdrawn to take tea or coffee in the drawing room. The butler laid out the appropriate glasses in front of each guest. He placed the decanters, on coasters, before the master of the house to be passed around informally. Costers allowed guests to slide decanters or wine bottles across the table without scratching the surface. They also caught wine drips that might stain the table. Coasters had baize-covered or polished wooden bases. Later versions sometimes had wheels.

This coaster is made of Sheffield plate. In 1742 Thomas Boulsover discovered that fused bars of silver and copper could be rolled into sheets of laminated metal and worked like silver. The Sheffield plate industry flourished for approximately one hundred years until electroplating superseded it in the 1840s.

Physical description

Convex gadrooned side and gadrooned edge. Turned satinwood bottom; in the middle a plain boss.

Place of Origin

Sheffield (made)


early 19th century (made)



Materials and Techniques

Sheffield plate, with a turned satinwood bottom


Height: 4.8 cm, Diameter: 15.2 cm

Descriptive line

Coaster, Sheffield plate, English, early 19th century

Production Note

Reason For Production: Retail


Sheffield plate; Satin-wood


Drinking; Metalwork; Tableware & cutlery

Production Type

Mass produced


Metalwork Collection

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