Ever heard the expression, “not worth a tinker’s dam?” In the eighteenth century porringer handles were cast or burned directly to the finished porringer bowl. Expanding metal tongs, wrapped with linen, held the porringer bowl from the inside while the handle mold was placed carefully on the outside. Molten pewter was poured into the handle mold and bonded to the bowl, hence the term, “burned on.” The linen cloth prevented the metal from rushing through the bowl and thus acted as a dam. This month’s antique highlights the linen mark of the tinker’s dam!
This is a very fine Crown Handle Porringer by Thomas Danforth and his brother, Sherman Boardman, Hartford, CT circa 1810-20. The quality and condition of the metal, the well struck touch mark, and the crisp linen mark make this a wonderful addition to any pewter collection.