Covered sugar bowl (from a six-piece service)

about 1813
Phillip Garrett (about 1780–1851)


Object Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Dimensions

19.5 x 17.2 x 11.5 cm (7 11/16 x 6 3/4 x 4 1/2 in.)

Accession Number

1982.364

Medium or Technique

Silver

On View

Suzanne and Terrence Murray Gallery (Gallery 226)

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Silver hollowware

The large sugar bowl has four ball feet; stamped decoration is a daisy stamp at base; different pattern at shoulder; small daisy pattern at lid like base. It has cast S-scroll handles and a friction-fitted lid with acorn finial, a flat broken scroll cartouche under acorn. The lid is friction fitted. The feet are worn and dented on one side.


This assembled tea set is a fine representation of early-nineteenth-century Philadelphia silver by Philip Garrett, the partnership of Robert and William Wilson, and possibly an unidentified maker. It has gained added attention due to its association with the family of Mary Stevenson Cassatt, the famous American artist. Initially made for the artist’s grandmother, and presumably added to by her mother, the tea set became a treasured family heirloom. Two of the objects — the sugar bowl and a teapot — appear in The Tea, painted about 1879 – 80 and now in the Museum’s collection (fig. 5), as well as in works on paper by the artist.

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.

Inscription

Inscribed on side of vessel between handles "MS/1813/KKC."

Markings

Marked twice "P. GARRETT" within a rectangle, in roman letters on base.

Provenance

This assembled tea set includes a teapot, creamer, and sugar bowl marked by Philip Garrett of Philadelphia and engraved “M.S. 1813” for Mary Stevenson at the time of her marriage that year to Alexander Johnston. The “KKJ” added later stands for Katharine Kelso Johnston, m. Robert Simpson Cassatt in 1835. The waste bowl marked by the Wilsons (engraved “RSC,” possibly for Robert Simpson Cassatt) and presumably the two unmarked teapots were added to the set about 1835, when Katharine Kelso Johnston Cassatt inherited her maternal grandmother’s tea set and added these three pieces to it. All three of these later pieces may be by the partnership of Robert and William Wilson.
The assembled set descended in the family until it was given by the descendants of the original owners and of the artist Mary Stevenson Cassatt (1844 – 1926), a granddaughter of Mary Stevenson Johnston, in honor of Eugenia Cassatt Madeira.

Credit Line

Anonymous gift in honor of Eugenia Cassatt Madeira