koopman rare art

Henry Welch The Charles Mercer Ewer

Charles II
London 1667
Maker’s mark ‘HW’, an escallop below, for Henry Welch

Height: 23cm, 9in.
Weight: 914g, 29oz 5dwt

Additional Images

Jewel Office records of warrants to the Master of the Jewel Office, Public Record Office, LC5/107, p. 119. (dish)

Silversmith Biography

The maker’s mark HW, a shell below, has been recorded on an otherwise unmarked Charles II silver two-handled porringer and cover of about 1670, engraved with the arms of Ralph Cotton of Bellaport, co. Salop and Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Christopher Hartop states in British & Irish Silver in the Fogg Art Museum (2007) that “The maker’s mark of HW, escallop below appears on a small group of recorded objects made in London during the late 1660s. All of these pieces show the use of techniques and styles which are in advance of the work being produced by London silversmiths of this period.” Hartop attributes the mark to one Henry Welch, who was probably from northern Germany. His surname wӕlise coming from wealth, meaning foreign, or else from the German cognate welsch.


The ewer on pedestal foot, the body engraved with a coat-of-arms within a plume cartouche above cut-card trefoils, harp-shaped handle.

The arms are those of Mercer impaling Stewart for Sir James Mercer of Aldie, a burgess of Perth, who married in 1648, Jean eldest daughter of Sir Thomas Stewart of Grantully.

Sir James Mercer, whose London house was in Axe Yard, Westminster (where Samuel Pepys had lived between August 1658 and July 1660), was appointed Gentleman Usher to Charles II in January 1661.