An Elizabeth I Silver Mounted Turned Ivory Mortar, maker's mark only EE struck four times, London, circa 1570-1600, the mortar probably South German, circa 1480-1550, the three cast shell feet rising to a circular ring mount chased with fruit amidst strapwork on a punch beaded ground between raised indented borders beneath a stylised acanthus rim securing the turned ivory mortar, the mortar with intricate turned foot rising to a plain body with simple ring turned borders beneath a plain silver mounted rim, 13.3cm high See illustration
Turned ivory objects, though mentioned in Tudor inventories, are rare survivals seldom found outside the Royal household. In size, though not in splendour, the only other extant example is the Howard Grace Cup mounted in 1525 (and earlier) now in the collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum. Similar silver mounts (though unmarked) may be seen on the Dyneley Casket, c.1610, though the mortar is supported on sturdier cast shell feet similar to those found on a sugar box dated London 1598.¹
¹Silver in Tudor and Early Stuart England by P Glanville, Over Wallop, 1990, p.366, fig 219 and p.478, cat no 110.