The earliest skillets appear in the first half of the 17th century. M. Clayton in The Collector's Dictionary of Silver and Gold of Great Britain and North America, Woodbridge, p.355 mentions an example of 1634. Many are applied, as with the present lot, with a shield-shaped cartouche on the front. This was to act as a flange for the cover to rest upon. In size they vary. The majority which are extant appear to be between 4 in. and 5½ in. in diameter, although an example of similarly small dimensions to the present lot is in the Burrell Collection, Glasgow.