Antique William III Silver Bleeding Bowl

Date: 1698

Maker: John Smithsend

Country: England


An early English silver side handled porringer or bleeding bowl of plain circular form. Britannia standard silver*. Very charming with the shaped pierced handle and original hand beaten finish. Hand engraved to the front is an armorial within plumage feathers, typical of the period, and there is a crest to the handle.

Weight 253 grams, 8.1 troy ounces.

Diameter 13.5 cm. Height 5.4 cm. Spread 20.5 cm.

London 1698.

Maker John Smithsend. 

Literature: Many people think that these shallow bowls were more likely to be eating vessels, especially for feeding the sick. 

*Britannia Standard. In 1696, so extensive had become the melting and clipping of coinage that the silversmiths were forbidden to use the sterling standard for their wares, but had to use a new higher standard, 95.8 per cent. New hallmarks were ordered, "the figure of a woman commonly called Britannia" and the lion's head erased (torn off at the neck) replacing the lion passant and the leopard's head crowned. This continued until the old standard of 92.5 per cent was restored in 1720. Britannia standard silver still continues to be produced even today.

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