Peter Vergereau (about 1700–1755)
Object Place: New York, New York
Overall: 8.5 x 18.8 cm, 0.6 kg (3 3/8 x 7 3/8 in., 1.32 lb.)
Medium or Technique
Not On View
The raised hemispherical bowl has convex sides and an applied rim; the drawn, splayed, and stepped foot has an applied foot ring.
Peter Vergereau is probably the individual born into New York City’s French community and baptised at the Église Françoise à la Nouvelle York on August 21, 1700. He was granted freeman status in 1721, which would have been the logical time for him to begin practicing his craft after an average apprenticeship. Vergereau was married in 1737, rather late in life, to Susana(h) Boudinot, sister of silversmith Elias Boudinot (1706 – 1770).1 Although his career lasted for some thirty years, few works bearing his mark are known. Nevertheless, this small body of silver proves that he was a talented silversmith and engraver who made forms ranging from tablespoons to tankards and including salvers, saucepans, and this commodious bowl.
Bowls such as this were based upon Chinese porcelain forms. Despite the modest size, it was probably intended as a punch bowl. It is unadorned except for the owner’s initials. Vessels of similar size were fashioned by New York silversmiths Myer Myers, Thauvet Besley, Bartholomew Le Roux II, and Cornelius Wynkoop, to mention only a few, as well as by Boston craftsmen such as John Coney (cat. no. 32) and Jacob Hurd (cat. no. 86). The best-known example in a larger size is the Sons of Liberty bowl made by Paul Revere in 1768, which stands about 51/2 inches (14 cm) tall and measures 11 inches (28 cm) in diameter.
This text has been adapted from “Silver of the Americas, 1600-2000,” edited by Jeannine Falino and Gerald W.R. Ward, published in 2008 by the MFA. Complete references can be found in that publication.
Marked "G * MP" on underside in shaded roman letters below center point and marks. The scratch weight of "19 1/2 oz" in an early hand is engraved above center point.
"PV" within a rounded rectangle struck twice, once on each side of center point, underneath bowl.
Despite the unusual spacing in the initials, the likely original owners are Marytje Roel and George Petterson (d. 1764) of New York City, m. March 18, 1743. The bowl descended to her daughter by her first marriage, Maria Catharina Roel (Ruehl) (b. 1733/39), and Capt. Cornelius C. Wynkoop (1732 – 1796) of Kingston, New York, m. 1760. To their son Augustus Wynkoop (1777 – 1836) and Anna Maria Sylvester (1780 – 1825) of Kinderhook, New York, m. 1808/9; to their son Augustus Wynkoop (1812 – 1862) and Anna Whiting (1815 – 1863), m. 1843; to their son Augustus Whiting Wynkoop (1844 – 1886) and Mary Lydia Talcott (b. 1846), m. 1873; to their son Augustus Talcott Wynkoop (1878 – 1940); to his sister Anna Strong Wynkoop (1880 – 1958) and George Henry Torney (1872 – 1948); to their son Geoffrey Barton Torney (b. 1914), the donor, and his nephew Ian Wynkoop Torney (b. 1963).
Referred to in family as " Wyncoop bowl simply because it came into my brother's possession from one of our uncles, Augustus Wyncoop."Johnstone Torney 15 Sept., 1991(to Anne Moffet ADA files).
Descended in the one of the prominent, early Dutch fammilies, the Wyncoops of Kinderhook and New York City. Onloan since 1953.
Gift of Geoffrey B. Torney and Ian Wynkoop Torney in memory of the Wynkoop Family of New York City and Kinderhook, New York