This tiger-ware jug is a particularly rare example, not only because of its small size but also because it is struck with the date letter C within a sheild, only in use from the 7th January 1561 to May of that year. The reason is explained in Jackson, Ian Pickford ed., p.40 thus, "In 1560 the C is found both in an outline punch and in a sheild-shaped punch. This resulted from the restoration of the sterling standard of coinage. It also has the interesting implication that sub (sterling) standard wares had been marked by the assay office during the period of debased coinage. The minute, dated 16 December 1560 in the records of the Goldsmiths' Company, shows that the assay master and wardens should 'touch no plate under the fynesse of xi. oz. ij. dxt., and for a certe knowledge to be had between the same plate and other before touched, it is agreed that the letter of the year shall be grayved round about for a difference'. This is also the earliest reference to it as a date-letter or 'letter of the year'.