MAZER, the name of a special type of drinking vessel, properly made of maple-wood, and so-called from the spotted or " birdseye " marking on the wood (Ger. Maser, spot, marking, especially on wood; cf. " measles "). These drinking vessels are shallow bowls without handles, with a broad flat foot and a knob or boss in the centre of the inside, known technically as the " print." They were made from the 13th to the 16th centuries, and were the most prized of the various wooden cups in use, and so were ornamented with a rim of precious metal, generally of silver or silver gilt; the foot and the " print " being also of metal. The depth of the mazers seems to have decreased in course of time, those of the 16th century that survive being much shallower than the earlier examples. There are examples with wooden covers with a metal handle, such as the Flemish and German mazers in the Franks Bequest in the British Museum. On the metal rim is usually an inscription, religious or bacchanalian, and the "print" was also often decorated. The later mazers sometimes had metal straps between the rim and the foot.
A very fine mazer with silver gilt ornamentation 3 in. deep and 9J in. in diameter was sold in the Braikenridge collection in 1908 for 2300. It bears the London hall-mark of 1534. This example is illustrated in the article PLATE: see also DRINKING VESSELS.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)