Antique Charles II Silver Porringer


Stock: 8739

Date: 1675

Maker: Simon Romney

Country: England

A rare piece of early English silver. A large 2 handled antique silver porringer of plain form. The matching cover...

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A rare piece of early English silver. A large 2 handled antique silver porringer of plain form. The matching cover has a capstan shaped finial so that the lid can be turned upside down and used on its own as a saucer. This form is typical of an early Restoration porringer, with bellied shape and the lid sitting over the upper rim. There is a small silver support either side next to the handle for the lid to sit on. Hand engraved to the front, and repeated on the cover, are the arms and crest for the Yong family of Medhurst, Sussex.

Weight 375 grams, 12 troy ounces.
Height 14 cm (total), 10 cm (cup), 4.5 cm (lid). Diameter 10 cm. Spread across the handles 17 cm.
London 1675.
Makers mark “SR”* in a shield (there are 2 similar marks in Jacksons, see page 124 and 129, bottom of the page), probably Simon Romney (attribution by Dr David Mitchell “Silversmiths in Elizabethan and Stuart London”).
Sterling silver.

The identical porringer is in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston – https://collections.mfa.org/objects/59396. The Boston porringer dated 1663/4 is by a different maker, but the form, size and crests are identical. It is likely that this porringer was commissioned as a matching pair in 1675.

Marks. Both bowl and lid have a full and matching set of English silver hallmarks. The lid finial has the lion mark.

Engraved on the front and cover with a large hand engraved armorial and griffin crest within a cartouche of plumage feathers. This for the Yong family of Medhurst (Midhurst), Sussex. The pedigree of the Yonge (Young) family, with the armorial, can be found in “Pedigrees of the Families in the County of Sussex” by William Berry, 1830. The family included an Archbishop of York in 1560, but otherwise appear to have left little trace.

The Boston porringer bears the faint pounced initials YAM. This would suggest a marriage commemoration and the “Calendar of Sussex Marriage Licences” by Edwin Dunkin, 1909, points us towards “Anthony Yonge of Ambersham in Easborne gent and Mary Bottesworth of Midhurst” who married on 18 May 1664. Anthony died in June 1679. It’s not obvious what event might have prompted a matching porringer to be ordered in 1675.

It is unusual to have a maker’s name for a piece of silver of this early date as there are no precise records of silver makers’ marks prior to 1697. All records were destroyed in the fire at Goldsmiths Hall in 1681.

The first surviving record at Goldsmiths Hall is the 1682 copper plate made to start the recording process again. This has recently prompted a study by Dr David Mitchell, supported by Goldsmiths Hall, resulting in the publication of his 2017 “Silversmiths in Elizabethan and Stuart London”. This reference work identifies previously unknown makers marks and assigns marks struck on existing plate to individuals (attributions for 540 separate marks).


This silver cup is in very good condition. Excellent colour. Both engravings are still sharp.

Maker Information

Maker: Simon Romney

Simon Romney, London silver maker, apprnticed to Edward Treene 1655, free 1662. Livery 1674, Assistant 1688. His active workshop bound 8 apprentices plus another turned over to him. Died c.1694.

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