William & Mary Antique Chinoiserie Silver Porringer
Maker: Seth Lofthouse
A fascinating and rare piece of chinoiserie silver. This early English antique sterling silver porringer, or side handled cup, is...
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.
Chinoiserie. Flat chased silver “in the Chinese taste” enjoyed a brief period of remarkable popularity from the 1670’s to the early Queen Anne period. Silverware of normal European forms was decorated with charming scenes representing Chinamen, birds and Chinese landscapes. The concentration of nearly all surviving examples within this clearly defined period, and the similarity of decoration on objects bearing different makers marks, point to a specialist workshop not yet identified, to which silver was sent by goldsmiths or their customers for decoration. This charming decoration of Chinese figures, birds, foliage etc. is rarely found and adds considerably to the piece.
This historic silver porringer is in very good condition, consistent with its age. Excellent patina. This cup has been tested for water retention and doesn’t leak.
Maker: Seth Lofthouse
Seth Lofthouse, London silversmith, elder brother of Matthew Lofthouse, 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.
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