The Wooden Bowl

Scottish Gold and Silver Work

Silver in England

See A Short History of Drinking Bowls and Mazers for more information on the history and evolution of these vessels, as well as this short article on mazers.

There are additional mazers in the collection of the Museum of Canterbury, not presently online. Additional mazers are described in Evolution of Form in English Silver Plate and Catalogue of the Loan Collection of Plate.

  • Feast scene in the Bayeux Tapestry
  • The Beckett Mazer; see also this copy
  • Detail from an illustrated psalter (ÖNB 1898, fol. 153r), c. 1265-1275
  • Fol. 49r, The Murthly Hours (NLS 21000), 1280s
  • A monk-cellarer tastes wine from a barrel, Li Livres dou Santé (British Library Sloane 2435, fol. 44v), late 13th century
  • The Harbledown Mazer, c. 1307-1327
  • Bute or Bannatyne mazer, c. 1315 (interior); cover carved from a whale’s jawbone in the 16th century
  • Monks in the dining scene from the Luttrell Psalter (British Library Add. 42130, fol. 208), c. 1325-1335
  • British Museum M&ME AF.3116, a mazer and cover with the shields of Flanders and Ghistelles combined, mid-14th century
  • V&A 1171:1, 2-1864, silver-gilt double mazer cup, made in Germany c. 1350-1400
  • unum ciphum de mazer cum duobus coclearibus argenti … ij ciphis de mazer et unum coopertorium novum cum uno tapeto
    Will of Simon de Staunton, 1346
  • Þer was wyn ful clere
    In mony a feir Maseere,
    And oþer drynkes þat weere dere
    In Coupes ful grete.

    The Minor Poems of the Vernon M.S.

  • V&A M.165-1914, maplewood with silver-gilt mounts, c. 1380
  • The Swan Mazer of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, before 1384 (see description in Corpus Christi); it resembles a mazer (upside-down) in the sketchbook of Villard de Honnecourt (BNF Fr. 19093, fol. 9) c. 1230
  • Item lego Thomæ de Ecton, consanguineo meo, unum ciphum de mazer cum coopertura et pede argenti deaurati eidem, signatum cum diversis litteris de bees.
    … Item lego Margaretæ Fayrfax, Priorissæ ibidem, j ciphum argenti coopertum deauratum, et j ciphum argenti coopertum, j mazer cum coopertura argenti deaurati

    Will of Johannes Fayrfax, 1393
  • A French two-handled copper-gilt mounted service wood covered mazer (Christies Lot 17, Sale 6293), late 14th/early 15th century
  • The Scrope Mazer, c. 1400
  • January (far left), Les très riches heures du Duc de Berry, 1412-1416
  • Item lego domino Ricardo Keryngton capellano unum mazer cum coopertorio, de auro.
    Will of Isabella de Wyleby, 1415
  • The Thomas Ballard mazer, maple wood and silver gilt, before 1437 (see Heraldry, Pageantry and Social Display in Medieval England, p. 126)
  • The Nanteos Cup, 15th century
  • A mazer (inspiration for this re-creation)
  • V&A 7958:1, 2-1862, made in Germany c. 1460-1479
  • Itm to Thomas Baret his sone, my maseer with a beend and a foot of siluir and ovir gilt.
    Will of John Baret of Bury, 1463
  • j. maser Sipton.
    ij. masers. …
    Item, a grete maser with a prend in the bottom and the armes of Seint Jorge, weying xv. unc’ j. quarter & di.
    Item, a nother maser sownde in the botom and a sengilbonde, viij. unc’ & j. quarter.
    Item, a lytil maser with a foote, weing viij. unc’.
    Item, a nother maser with a lytill foote, weing viij. unc’.
    Item, a nothir litill maser wiht an higher foote, weying x. unces & J. quarter.

    An inventory of plate, after 1479, in the Paston Letters
  • Loan:Gilbert.576-2008, a maple mazer bowl with gilded-silver mounts and IHS monogram, c. 1480
  • Item a maser callyd qwenes multys bolle. Item a grete maser callyd the prior dan John ffauersham ys maser and ther to ys a ffayyre prynte of the trynyte. Item a maser callyd the chynke bolle and ther yn ys a prynte in the bottom of dan wyllyam holland. Item a grete maser w* a honycorne yn the bottom therof and ther to ys a grete couerkyll of maser bownde w' a bund of syluyr and gyltte and a grette knoppe therouer syluyr and gyltte. Item a grette maser for wyne wt a prynte yn the bottom ther of wt a ffygure of owre lady and wrytynge abowte here aue marya. Item a smale brokyn maser wt a prynte yn the bottom and Jhesus wrytyn ther yn. Item a lytyll prety maser wt a pryntt yn the bottom and ther ys dauyth wt hys harpe and ther to ys a prety couerkyll wt a ffayre knoppe. Item a maser wt a couerkyll and a knoppe of syluyr and gylte that master ffrogennall gaue.
    From the 1483 inventory of John Raby, at the library of Emmanuel College
  • Itm, a maser, couered, wt an Image of Saynt Kenelme, weying 9 vnces.
    Itm, a stondyng maser, wtoute couer, weying 11 vnces.
    Itm, a grete maser, wt a cover with Floure of syluer on the knop 17 vnces.

    Inventory of Jewellery and Plate, 1491, Memorials of the Guild of Merchant Taylors
  • V&A 7956:1, 2-1862, a double mazer and cover, silver-gilt and masur birch, made in Germany in 1492
  • ffirst a maser wt a boos of the fite of a widowe called — weiyng viij onz iij pt.
    Itm a maser wt a boos of the gifte of John Badcok weiyng xv onz iij pt.
    Itm a maser wt a boos and an hert of silu’ ou’ gilted of the gifte of Robt. Reynolds weyng ix onz
    Itm a maser wt a boos of the gifte of henry pendlowe weiyng vj onz di qrt.
    Itm a maser wt a boos of the gifte of John Seykyn weiying iv onz di and di pt.
    Itm a grete maser harnessed wt siluer gilt of the gifte of John Betenden otherwise called Wayte weyng xvj onz pt.
    Itm a gret maser harnessed wt siluer gylt of the gifte of John Pynchebek wyyng xj onz.
    It a maser of ye gifte of some unkoown wydow waying
    Itm layd to pleche to John Hamond & John Beyrs a Masar wt a Boysse pryntyd and Graveyn weyng xv ownces pris the ownce ij s ij d sm ys xxxij s xd. payd.
    Item layd to pleche to Thomas Rayllton & John Seytcoll a masar wt a holow boyss pryntyd wt a hewar weying xvj ounces halfe pris the ownce ij s ij d ydsm xxxvs ixd.
    Itm layd to pleche to mr Swetyng a Masar wyth a holow Boyss pryntyd wt a coke weying xvj ownces saue halfe a pt pris the ownce ij s ij d sm xxxiij s.
    Itm layd to pleche to mr Grybby a Masar wt a byss pryntyd wt a colombyn flowr weyng viij ownces and a spoyn weyng a ownce & di qr sm xx s x d.
    Itm layd to pleche to Edward Collyngwod a Masar wt a Boys weyng ix & a half pris ijs ijd sm xxs jd.
    Itm layd to pleche to Wyllm Wecks a Masar weying vj ownces & a qr pris the ownce ijs ijd sm xiiijs viijd.
    Itm layd to pleche to Jamys sewyn a Masar wt a harte in the boyss inamyll weyng ix ownces qtr pris the ownce ijs ijd sm xxs.
    The Inuentarie of the goodes of the Crafte of ffounders of london (in Notes from an Old City Account Book), 1497
  • Detail from Christ in the House of Martha and Mary from the altarpiece of the church of St. Korbinian in Thal, 1498
  • Serpentine Mazer (V&A M.248-1924), serpentine marble with silver-gilt mounts, c. 1500
  • The Watson Mazer, maplewood & silver, c. 1500-1525
  • MFA 67.1017, burl maple with silver-gilt mounts, England, c. 1500-1525
  • I beqweth to my iiij chyldern ych of them a maser bownd wt silu’ and gylt
    Will of John Hedge, 1504
  • Itm one grate Maser wt a sengle band wt a prynt in the bothom gilt wt an ymage of Allmyghti god sittynge at the iugement in the myddes of iiij evangelistes of the gift of Jamys barbor weyng xlix vnces di.
    Itm an other maser wt a double band wt a prynt in the myddes wt a plate of silu’ & gilte written wt these wordes “deum nrm” weynge xij vnces.
    Itm a masar wt a sengle band wt a prynt in the bothom fo the passion of saynt Thomas the martir & a plate of silu’ & gilte wt an Ape lokynge in a vrynall written wt these woordes “this wat’ is polows” weynge xv vnces di.
    Itm a masar wt a dowble nade & a prynt in the botho of sylu’ & gilte wt a rose in the same prynt of the gift of John lawes mchaunt weynge xiiij vnces iij qrters.
    Itm a Masar wt a sengle band wt a prynt of the v’nacle in the bothom of the gifte of John welles of lyn weynge vij vnces iij qrters & di’ quarter.
    Itm a masar wt a syngle band wt a prynt in the bothom of silu’ & gilte of the salutacion of ovr lady wt a lili pott wt a plate of silu’ & gilte weynge vij vnces j qrtres.
    Itm a masar wt a litill band wt no prynte in the bothom of the gift of John Smyth beidman weynge vij vnces di’.
    Itm an other masar wt a double band wt a prynt in the bothom Emanuel gilt & grayvn wt Jhus weynge xj vnces di’.
    Itm one cover of wood for a masar wt a knopp of silu’ & gilte.

    Inventory of the goods of the Guild of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Boston, 1534
  • St. Mary's Mazer, mid-16th century Scotland
  • It’ a Massar garnyssechyed wt a bande of sylvar and gyltte wch weyed by estymacyon v oz.
    Inventory of the Church Goods of St. Olave, Southwark, 1558
  • Mazer associated with the Earls of Galloway, silver gilt and maplewood, made by James Gray of the Canongate in Edinburgh in 1569 for Archibald Stewart, later Provost of Edinburgh, and his wife
  • The Fergusson Mazer, made in Edinburgh c. 1576
  • A rare Elizabethan footed mazer (Christies Lot 186, Sale 5079), c. 1580
  • Craigievar Mazer, silver and maplewood, made by James Craufurd of Edinburgh in 1591