The small porringer of compressed bellied form on a bossed
out footrim and sided by S-shaped clipped wire handles,
sides chased with panels of stylized flora (likely jonquils
and tulips) between plain panels on a matted ground,
beneath a row of punch-beading and plain rim;
the base reverse chased with a leafy stem ending in a cluster
of grapes within a punch-beaded border;
fully marked verso with maker?s mark M N, a crescent below,
within a heart shaped punch
Christie's, NY - Oct. 15, 1985,
These small baluster-form
cups were popular from c1640 to 1700, are technically called
Recently, the term "porringer", a
straight-sided cup, has become the prevalent term for both
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.
Today these small cups are also
often used as wine tasters,
as the chasing offers wells and
bubbles for discerning color and clarity.
Condition : very good patination and overall condition;
crisp marks and chasing;
handles with usual either casual handle attachment
four small splits to the rim, .25" the longest, with silver repairs
2" High x 4.5" Wide / 2.2 oz.