A fascinating and rare piece of chinoiserie silver. This early English antique sterling silver porringer, or side handled cup, is flat chased with an exuberant oriental scene incorporating Chinese people and exotic birds. The large bowl, of circular form with flared lip, is ideal for use as a drinking cup or for displaying flowers.
Weight 482 grams, 14.4 troy ounces.
Height 12.3cm. Diameter 14cm. Spread across the handles 21.5cm.
Maker Seth Lofthouse.
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Marks. Stamped underneath with a full set of English silver hallmarks.
Silver Porringers are two handled bowls and some have a cover. They can also be known as caudle cups although the origin of the porringer was for porridge and the caudle cup was for a type of broth. From the eighteenth century onwards, porringers and cups and covers were used mainly as centrepieces or ornaments. In recent times they have seen a resurgence in popularity for drinking and on the dining table. They make a very attractive baby gift.
Seth Lofthouse, London silversmith, apprenticed to William Wakefield of the Merchant Taylor’s Company 1676. Freedom not recorded. Mark entered as largeworker in 1699. William Bellasis apprenticed to him in 1709. Listed as dead in the Haberdashers’ Company records of 1727.