Charles I Antique Silver Box


Stock: 9993

Date: Circa 1635

Maker: Simon and Willem De Passe

Country: England

A charming piece of early silver. An antique silver counter box of cylindrical form, the openwork sides pierced with fanciful...

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A charming piece of early silver. An antique silver counter box of cylindrical form, the openwork sides pierced with fanciful birds and scrolling foliage. The cover has a bust portrait of Charles I, the base has a bust portrait of Henrietta Maria. This box has no counters.

Weight 18 grams, about half a troy ounce.
Height 2.6cm. Diameter 3cm.
Unmarked silver.
English, probably by or from the workshops of Simon and Willem de Passe.
Circa 1635

Four similar counter boxes are in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, illustrated in Philippa Glanville, Silver in Tudor and Early Stuart England, London, 1990, pp. 480-438, cat. nos. 116-120.

Literature. Counter boxes contained a number of disks, commonly stamped or engraved with portraits of English monarchs, that were used as game markers and counting devices. Counter boxes were rarely marked.


In very good condition. Slightly misshapen. No losses to the silver piercing. There is some old blobby solder showing which appears to be original.

Maker Information

Maker: Simon and Willem De Passe

Simon De Passe (c. 1595 – 6 May 1647) was the son of prominent Dutch engraver and publisher Crispijn Van De Passe the Elder. His father was the founder of a distinguished publishing house in Cologne that produced portraits of European nobility and religious and other prints. The family were forced to leave Cologne because of their Anabaptist faith. They moved to Utrecht, and in 1616 Simon settled in London where he established for himself a successful portrait engraving practice. He contributed portraits to Henry Holland's Baziliologia (1618) and made a number of portraits of the royal family, noblemen and scholars. In 1624, he moved to Copenhagen as royal engraver to the king of Denmark, a post he held for the rest of his life. Willem de Passe (ca. 1598 – ca. 1637), the least productive of the siblings, took over from his brother in England, probably after working in France, and died in London. He joined the Huguenot church in Threadneedle Street in 1624, and his wife Elizabeth may have been the daughter of the English publisher Thomas Jenner.

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