Child's porridge bowl

Maker: Roberts and Belk

Date: 1897–98

Culture: British, Sheffield

Medium: Silver, parcel gilt

Dimensions: 2 9/16 × 4 3/8 in. (6.5 × 11.1 cm)

Classification: Metalwork-Silver

Credit Line: Purchase, Gift of Mrs. Donald Gill, by exchange, 1991

Accession Number: 1991.296.1


The pieces (see also 1991.296.2) are marked with a Roman lamp in outline, the mark used by a firm of manufacturing goldsmiths in Sheffield, Roberts and Belk, for handmade products from their art studio.

The design is influenced by Art Nouveau, featuring a languid curvaceousness of the ornament and a naive quality with its repeating flowers between single unattached hearts. This shows a strong admixture of the Arts and Crafts movement. The bowl is inscribed "From Her Majesty Queen Alexandra to Mrs. M. F. Ronalds 1907," probably a christening or Christmas present from the queen to Mrs. Ronald for her daughter Thora. The spoon is engraved in the bowl, "From Queen Alexandra."