English (London)
Marked by L reversed, Engraved by P over M

Object Place: Europe, London, England


H. 33.8 cm (13 5/16 in.); Diameter (of foot) 10.9 cm (4 5/16 in.); Weight 1, 247.4 gm (40 oz 2 dwt)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Silver, parcel gilt

On View

Alan and Simone Hartman Galleries (Gallery 241)





The ewer is vase-shaped, with a domed molded foot, a spool-shaped stem, and a tapering neck flaring to a broad, shaped lip with a gadrooned edge. The handle is ear-shaped with a scrolling terminus. The body of the ewer is decorated with portraits of the sovereigns in two registers. Around the shoulder are five circular medallions with portrait profiles of Edward 111, Edward 11, Edward 1, Henry 111, and John. Around the body of the vessel in elliptical panels are engraved standing portraits of Richard 1, Henry 11, Stephen, Henry 1, William Rufus, and William 1. On the basin and the ewer, the engraved panels are left white, and the enframing garlands are gilt. The basin is raised, with a molded wire applied to the rim. The central boss is composed of a raised rim with a flat disk let in to the center; it is riveted to the basin. The body of the ewer is formed from two raised sections, with a molded wire covering the join. The foot is assembled from a raised domed section with a wire rim, a raised stem, and a fabricated collar. The handle is formed of two pieces. (Part of a set with the basin, 1979.262)

This ewer and basin (1979.262) is engraved with the portraits of all the sovereigns of England up to and including Elizabeth I (reigned 1558-1603), for whom the set may have been made. The engraved scenes between the royal portraits depict Old Testament subjects based on Bernard Saloman’s illustrated Bible, published in Lyons in 1553.


Engraved twice in central medallion of basin, engraver's monogram P over M


On underside of basin, maker's mark a pick or sythe (similar to Jackson, 1921, p. 101), lion passant, leopard's head crowned, date letter k with a difference


Philip Herbert, fourth Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery (1584-1650); Anne Clifford, Dowager Countess of Dorset, Pembroke, and Montgomery (1590-1676); Nicholas Tufton, third Earl of Thanett (1631-1679); Crichton Brothers, London; J.P. Morgan (1867-1943); sold Parke Bernet, New York, November 1, 1947, lot 466 [the sale catalogue indicated that the ewer and basin had descended in the Hyde family, but this cannot be substantiated], purchased by C. Ruxton Love (1903-1971), New York; purchased by the MFA from S.J. Shrubsole, New York. (Accession date: May 16, 1979)

Credit Line

John H. and Ernestine A. Payne Fund, Theodora Wilbour Fund in memory of Charlotte Beebe Wilbour and funds by exchange from an Anonymous gift in memory of Charlotte Beebe Wilbour (1833-1914), Bequest of Frank Brewer Bemis, the M. and M. Karolik Collection of 18th-century American Arts, Gift of G. Churchill Francis, Gift of the Trustees of Reservation—Estate of Mrs. John Gardner Coolidge, Gift of Phillips Ketchum in memory of John R. Macomber, Gift of Mrs. Richard Cary Curtis, Gift in memory of Dr. William Hewson Baltzell by his wife, Alice Cheney Baltzell, Gift of Mrs. and Mrs. Richard Storey in memory of Mr. Richard Cutts Storey, Gift of Mrs. John B. Sullivan, Jr., Gift of Mrs. Heath-Jones, Bequest of Charles Hitchcock Tyler, Gift of Miss Caroline M. Dalton, Bequest of Clara Bennett, Maria Antoinette Evans Fund, Gift of Miss E. E. P. Holland