This little dish is called a Porringer and was originally used to serve soups, stews and similar dishes. The name originates, with variations, from the old French word “potage” which meant “contents of a pot” although today in French it means “soup”.
Even though this is an English made pewter dish the design is of colonial origin, the European ones tended to have two handles, one on either side, which I suppose made it easier to carry. Sometimes they had lids and the silver or pewter ones may have the owner’s initials engraved on the handles.
This Porringer is a shallow bowl made of pewter with a horizontal flat handle, but they were also made from wood, ceramics, and silver and they date as far back as medieval times. Although they are still manufactured today they are mostly used as decorative christening gifts which go unused.
This one is stamped with the name of” James Yates” who was a well-known pewter manufacturer in Victorian times, however, the trade name was still being used by a modern manufacturer until the late 1980’s. The bowl is 4 ½ inches (12 cm) in diameter and 1 ½ inches (3 ½ cm) deep.
It’s easy enough to get these Porringer dishes mixed up with the Scottish Quaich because they do look quite similar, however, usually, the Quaich is smaller and is a drinking vessel. If you want to buy a porringer and you search online, be careful because you could find that you are led to a double saucepan like a bain-marie because these are called porringers too.