Object Place: Probably Mexico
Height: 7 7/8 in. (20 cm), diameter of foot: 5 7/16 (13.8 cm), weight: 23 oz 28 dwt 5 gr (743.7 gm)
Medium or Technique
Silver gilt bowl; copper or bronze baluster bowl with lid, stem, and foot
Out on Loan
On display at Mission Nombre de Dios, St. Augustine, FL, June 1, 2017 – June 22, 2018
Silver gilt bowl set within larger base metal vessel and base metal (copper or bronze) baluster stem and foot. Modern copper nut secures stem to foot. Knob of the lid is missing, and appears to have left rusty residue.
By 1878, unearthed from property on Oneida Street, St. Augustine, Florida, by property owners William H. Keith (b. 1803 - d. 1885) and Harriet Lovett Keith (b. 1837 - d. 1917), St. Augustine and exhibited at Bigelow, Kennard and Co., Boston; 1880, placed on loan to the MFA; passed by descent and in 1928, given to the MFA. (Accession Date: August 21, 1928)
NOTE: It is not known when this object, along with six other pieces of ecclesiastical silver (MFA accession nos. 28.464 – 28.470) was buried. The cross (28.468) is inscribed with the date 1721 and the name of the Spanish governor and captain general of Florida, Antonio de Benavides (1718 – 1734). It has been suggested that the silver was buried after Spain ceded Florida to the United States in 1821, in response to fears that the U.S. government might seize church property. See Jeannine Falino, Silver in the Americas, 1600-2000. American Silver in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA, Boston, 2008), pp. 465-466, cat. no. 370, and pp. 524-525, Appendix I.
Gift in memory of Mr. and Mrs. William H. Keith