Porringers of this type, known as écuelles d’accouchée or ecuelles, were used in well-to-do households to serve soup or gruel. They derive their name from the custom of serving a new mother a light, fortifying meal after the birth; it was served in a silver vessel like this.

This highly elegant example is in Louis XIV style. Completely symmetrical with restrained decoration, this ecuelle stands on a round, modelled foot with an upright plinth. The plain bowl has two hinged C-scroll handles. The attachments of the handles to the bowl are in the shape of stylized lilies. The round contoured cover has an ebony knob in the centre.

The porringer is fully hallmarked on the underside with the Amsterdam assay mark, the Dutch lion, the date letter L for 1745 and the maker’s mark CH for Cornelis Hilberts. The inside of the cover is marked with the maker’s mark and the Dutch lion.


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