Date Made/Found: 1765-1770
Material and Medium: Old Sheffield Plate
Dimensions: Overall: 25 x 110 x 222mm (1 x 4 5/16 x 8 3/4in.)
Department: Decorative Art
Accession Number: L1943.286
This is a lemon strainer made of Old Sheffield Plate in the late 1760s.
Silver is resistant to tarnish so has not been damaged by the acidic lemon juice. It may also have been replated. Some owners and collectors have items replated to cover up the telltale signs of Old Sheffield Plate – the copper layer beneath showing through. Much replating was done with the invention of electroplate in the 1840s, when objects could be evenly coated in a very thin layer of silver using electrolysis.
Lemon strainers made of silver would have been used at the dining table where lemon juice was used to flavour food, especially fish. They were sometimes known as punch strainers, used to strain the juice of citrus fruit added to a punch mix.
This object is part of the Bradbury Collection.