5 Fascinating Facts
About The Little Known Glennon Archive’s
Pewter Porringer Bowl
por·rin·ger | \ ˈpȯr-ən-jər |ˈpär- \
Porringers are usually low metal bowls with one or two usually flat and pierced handles, also called “ears.” Their mysterious origins have been traced back as early as the 15th century in Europe, and may have been used until mid-19th century in colonial America.
As a matter of fact, colonial American craftsmen developed their own flavors of this kitchen vessel which varies by region. Today, porringers -and their modern counterparts – can be sometimes be found at thrift and vintage stores if you know what you are looking for. The porringer bowls currently on exhibit at the Glennon Archive & Museum are a coronet style porringer based on the shape of the ear.
Here are five more fascinating facts about porringer bowls we bet you didn’t know anything about:
2. The word “porringer,” is an alteration of the Middle English word “Potynger” from Anglo-French “Potageer.”
3. American porringer bowls most often had one handle or “ear,” whereas European ones were generally molded with two.
3. Porringer bowls may have started out as high end silver kitchenware that graced the kitchens of noble European families but soon enough, more affordable versions in pewter, wood and ceramic found their way onto the tables of everyday households.
4. A controversial legend has it that before gruel or broth, porringer bowls were originally intended to be used as bleeding bowls. Yikes. Most folks agree though that they were at least used for food as well – maybe not at the same time?
Other Porringer Bowls | Admire | Get Inspired
- One-handled Porringer picture from the Brooklyn Museum
- Two-handled Porringer picture from North Carolina History Online Resource
- Colonial Williamsburg shop
- Colonial Williamsburg Collections
- Museum of Fine Arts
Out-of-the-Box Ideas | Display | Upcycle | Repurpose | Decorate
- 50 Brilliant Repurposing Ideas To Turn Old Kitchen Items Into Exciting New Things
- Make Your Own Tiered Stands With Repurposed [Porringer] Bowls
- Creative Things To Make With Old Crystal & Glassware
References | Sources
- “Porringer.” Encyclopedia Britannica. Accessed 7 Dec. 2020
- “Porringer.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/porringer. Accessed 7 Dec. 2020.
- A & C Silver.” The History of Silver, A &C Silver. Accessed 7 Dec. 2020.
- “Flashback: Evolution of New York Silver Porringer Handles.” Collections Weekly. Accessed 7 Dec. 2020
- “English Porringers Post-1650: Part 2.” Hayward, Peter & Mike Marsden. Pewter Society.org PDF. Accessed 7 Dec. 2020