English sterling silver and coral rattle/whistle decorated with repousse flowers. A piece of coral mounted at one end. (missing one bell). Silver baby rattles are known in England since the beginning of the 18th century, but most extant examples date from c. 1760. Rattles with their elaborate chased and repoussé ornament were often given as a lavish christening gift. This baby rattle is made in the typical English style with elaborate ornament whistle, bells and coral. It consists of a whistle, a piece of teething coral, nine of the original ten bells, and a loop to hang the toy on a ribbon around the child's neck. Aside from being a teething device, the coral in the whistle and bells was thought to ward off enchantment and disease. Marked "H &T". Registered in 1832 and was used until 1945.
PERIOD: Late 19th Century ORIGIN: England, Europe
SIZE: 4 3/4"L, 1.3 troy ounces