The IS silver porringer
The ‘IS porringer’ of c.1659 carried an estimate of £4000-6000 at Sworders of Stansted Mountfitchet.

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The two-handled 6.5in (16cm) long 1659 bowl, known as the 'IS' Porringer carried an estimate of £4000-6000.

Interest came from a number of telephone bidders and was knocked down to a bidder from Ireland.

The porringer was one of eight lots from the family of Col SL Bibby CBE. Little is known about Col Bibby but his collection was certainly of some note, although sadly much of his collection was later stolen, leaving only the eight pieces at the Sworders sale.

On the recommendation of Jane Penrice How (1915-2004), seven pieces from Bibby’s holdings had been included in the exhibition Seven Centuries of English Domestic Silver held at the Royal Ontario Museum in 1958.

While the collection’s credentials and significance had been lost across the previous half century, Sworders’ silver specialist Anita Anderson was able to piece together its collecting history with help from the National Museum of Ireland, Goldsmiths’ Hall in London and Irish silver academic Dr Thomas Sinsteden.

Dubbed ‘the IS porringer’ on account of its engraved initials, its makers mark remains unidentified. The porringer, which has marks of the harp of Dublin, the date letter ‘B’ for 1659/63, was shown by dealers How of Edinburgh at Grosvenor House in 1967 priced then at £3000.