While design elements like crenellated borders, Tudor roses and hammered finishes are the elements that most typify Ramsden's work, it is the mazer bowl that is the one object, if any, which is perhaps most associated with his work.
Ramsden is said, as quoted by Leslie Durbin, (E. Turner and L. S. Roberts, English Silver, Masterpieces by Omar Ramsden From the Campbell Collection, New York, 1992, p. 56), to have personally treated the mazer bowls when they were returned to the shop after having been turned by Rogers and Co. The wood was exposed to a gas flame jet to char the surface, inside and out. While still hot Ramsden would rub beeswax into the surface of the wood. Only once the bowls had cooled would Ramsden trust them to be handled by anyone else, turning them over to a workman to be polished.
Perhaps deriving its name from the German màs, meaning 'a spot', in reference to the grain of the maple that was most often used to make them, the mazer is a traditional form of drinking vessel. English silver-mounted examples from the 14th to the 16th century are known and indeed there are several examples in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum which Ramsden would no doubt have seen on his visits there.
The present example would seem to be among the largest of the mazer bowls Ramsden produced and can be most closely compared to the King's Mazer of 1937 from the collection of the Middle Temple (P. Cannon-Brookes, Omar Ramsden 1873-1939, Centenary Exhibition of Silver, Birmingham, 1973, no. 97) and another from the collection of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, (R. Ransome-Wallis, Treasures of the 20th Century, London, 2000, p.28-29, no.36). In each case he has adapted the design to suit the commission, using cast busts of members of the Royal family for the first examples and the heraldic charges of the Goldsmiths' company for the second.