The Museum of London says that it has acquired a silver trencher plate that has only recently been recognised as having belonged to Samuel Pepys. This is more significant than it sounds, as it’s one of only three items of silver plate known to have belonged to Pepys as part of his personal collection and is now the only one on display in the UK.
In his diary, Pepys often expressed his passion for acquiring silver and boasted that he served his guests on silver plates rather than pewter. He also noted, rather smugly, how impressed and in awe of his collection of tableware his guests were while they dined at his home.
This particular plate, made in the workshop of Mary King in Foster Lane in 1681/2, displays visible knife and fork scratch marks, so might have been an object of such admiration.
Hazel Forsyth, Senior Curator, Medieval and Post–Medieval at the Museum of London, said: “This is a very important object as it is exceptionally rare to be able to identify the maker and the owner of a plate from this period. The fact that it belonged to Samuel Pepys, one of the most celebrated figures in literary and English history, makes it even more special.”
The silver plate is now on display in the War, Plague and Fire gallery at the Museum of London.