Commonwealth / Charles II Miniature (Toy) Silver Porringer
IG, London, c1650-68
(All images are oversize for inspection)
Of bulbous form on a short foot, decorated with four panels of sprays of leaves against a stippled ground within punch-beaded
borders, the base embossed with a flower within punch-bead border, wirework scroll handles and gilt interior, late 18th century
monogram MAK in conjoined script with flourishes; also scratched verso “Hwd 89”
Condition: Good to excellent; minor dings with age; the usual casually attached clipped wire handles; no repairs to the handle joins;
old well done silver solder reinforcement to the interior at footrim turn; later gilding to the interior
Maker's mark ‘I.G, a mullet between and a crescent below, within a heart-shaped punch, twice marked with additional
indiscernible adjacent small round punches. For details of the IG mark see Gold and Silver Marks of England, Scotland
and Ireland, (Jackson) and Old London Silver (Montague Howard). This maker apparently worked from c1633-1668,
making mostly ecclesiastical silver vessels. There are a variety of marks, some within a heart shaped punch, and some within a
shield, employing crescents, mullets, pellets, a shell, and a covered cup.
A cup by this maker is also listed in Goldsmith and the Grape, catalog for Goldsmith Hall’s
exhibition of the same name, July 1983: p. 18, #41,
with the royal cipher C.R for Charles II (courtesy of the Worshipful Company of Vinters).
These small baluster-form cups were popular from c1640 to 1700, are technically called "caudle "cups". Recently, the term
"porringer", a straight-sided cup, has become the prevalent term for both forms. The miniature, or "toy", version
(2" -3" in height), popular in the mid-17th century, had no lid, and usually simple chased or pounced decoration, with
clipped silver wire handles. They were used for a warm drink composed of ale, sugar, eggs, bread and spices - much
advocated for curing minor ills and recommended for pregnant women. They were often given as gifts to the mother of
a newborn child.
From 1597 to 1675, there was little effort to enforce silver marking laws in England. A large number of London and provincial
makers sold plate without being assayed or marked with other than their own stamp. As well, much silver made for either
royalty or for ecclesiastical use was not fully marked
2-1/8” High / 4-1/4" Wide over Handles / 2-1/2" Bowl Width
SUMMARY OF RECORDED MARKS on RECORDED WORKS for IG
1633 - IG above a covered cup in a shield: Two communion cups; St Mary and St. Lawrence, Great Waltham
1638 – IG, mullet below within a heart: Communion cup and two patens; St. Mary, Harrow
1648 – IG, escallop shell below within a shield: Plain cup; Mansion House, NY
1650 – I.G, above a crescent within a heart: Squat cup, baluster stem, spreading foot; Messrs. Spink
1659 – IG, above a crescent within a shield: Paten on foot; Messrs. Christie
1660 – IG, mullet below within a heart: Communion paten; All Harrows, Lombard Street, E.C.
1663 – IG, mullet below within a heart: Communion cup; All Harrows, Lombard Street, E.C.
1665 – IG, mullet between, crescent below within a heart: Flat-topped tankard; Mrs. Morgan S. Williams, St. Donat’s Castle
1665 – IG, mullet between, crescent below within a heart: Standing cup; Chester Corporation
For related silver, please click below:
|Charles II Silver Brazier,"B", 1677||Charles II Lace Back Spoon, Issod||Charles II Provincial Silver Wine Taster, 1670|
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