Museum Of London Acquires Silver Plate Which Belonged To Samuel Pepys

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Museum Of London Acquires Silver Plate Which Belonged To Samuel Pepys
(c) Museum of London

A silver plate that once belonged to 17th century diarist Samuel Pepys has gone on display at the Museum of London.

The silver trencher plate is one of three in existence known to have belonged to Pepys — although it was only recently recognised as such — and is the only one on display in the UK.

It bears Pepys' coat of arms and was made in a workshop in Foster Lane, near St Paul's Cathedral and the museum where it now resides, in 1681/2. Cutlery scratch marks are visible in its surface, suggesting it was one of the pieces Pepys was referring to in his diary when he boasted that he served his guests on silver plates rather than pewter.  

(c) Museum of London

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.

Find out more about the story of Samuel Pepys's silver plate.

Last Updated 03 October 2019