Belfast Telegraph

Cromwell-era silver bowl fetches £25k

By Michael McHugh

One of the rarest pieces of Irish silver to ever come on the market has sold for £25,000 at an auction in England.

The shallow bowl was made in Dublin between 1659 and 1663, shortly after the time of Oliver Cromwell.

It is the second oldest known secular Irish plate.

Only a handful of similar items are known to survive from before the restoration of the monarchy.

The receptacle was described as a porringer - a type of dish typically used for holding soups or stews.

Its whereabouts were unknown for almost 50 years until this year, when Sworders auctioneers in Stansted, Essex, were invited to appraise items of silver from the family of Colonel SL Bibby CBE, a collector.

Little is known about Colonel Bibby, but his was once a noteworthy collection.

Seven of his pieces were included in an exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in 1958.

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