The decorative scroll emblem bears a comparative resemblence to the tenor bell at Whitchurch Canonicorum, Dorset, cast by the founder Thomas Purdue at Closworth in Somerset. This dated mortar could have been cast in this bell foundry or possibly Salisbury, where Thomas and members of his family worked for some time.
Christopher A. Peel, English Decorated Bell Metal Mortars, Chemist and Druggist, 29 June & 13 July 1974. Reference is made to the popularity of the fleur-de-lys motif in the West Country. Despite its Franco-phile associations, the device was often distorted by combining it with other decoration to suggest an element of sophistication.
A similar mortar was sold Christie's South Kensington, John Fardon Collection, A selection of Oak, Country Furniture and Works of Art, 1st May 1996, lot 240.