17th Century Antique Silver Boxes


Stock: 9371

Date: Circa 1690

Maker: Anthony Nelme

Country: England

A pair of early English antique silver toilet jars with lift off lids. Plain octagonal form. The tops have a...

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A pair of early English antique silver toilet jars with lift off lids. Plain octagonal form. The tops have a hand engraved armorial within plumage feathers, typical of the Charles II/James II period. These unusual miniature toilet jars are very charming. Superb antique colour. At this date boxes of this type would have originally been part of an extensive toilet service.

Total weight 148 grams, 4.7 troy oz.
Height 6cm. Diameter of lid 3.8cm.
Makers mark only for Anthony Nelme.
Circa 1690.
Sterling silver.

Marks. Both bases and tops are stamped underneath with the makers mark only.

Armorials. The boxes are engraved with the marital arms of Sir John Bowyer (1653-1691), 2nd Bt. of Knipersley co. Stafford and his wife, the Hon Jane Murray (1642-1727). Sir John was the eldest son of Sir John Bowyer snr, 1st Baronet, and Mary Milward, daughter of Robert Milward. Bowyer was educated at Christ Church, Oxford, and graduated with a Master of Arts in 1669. Three years previously he had succeeded his father as baronet. Bowyer was High Sheriff of Staffordshire between 1677 and 1678. He sat then as Member of Parliament for Warwick from 1678 until 1679 and for Staffordshire from 1679 until 1685.


Very good, particularly considering the age. No damage. Fine antique patina. The lid engraving still has good relief. One of the boxes has a small dent underneath. They show moderate signs of wear commensurate with age.

Maker Information

Maker: Anthony Nelme

Anthony Nelme, London silver maker, apprenticed to Richard Rowley 1672, turned over to Isaac Dighton , free 1679/80. 1st mark pre-1697 but entered on commencement of the new register. There is a previous unregistered? sterling mark recorded by Jackson dated 1691/2. Assistant to the Court of the Goldsmiths 1703, warden 1717 and 1723. Died circa 1723. His work showed signs of Hugeunot influence and his considerable output included many municipal pieces such as maces, as well as toilet services and other large pieces.

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