Cream pitcher, part of a four-piece tea service

1837
Jones, Lows & Ball (active 1835–1841), John B. Jones (American, 1782–1854), Samuel S. Ball (1833–1839), True M. Ball (American, 1815–1890), George B. Jones (1815–1875), John J. Low (American, 1800–1876), Francis Low (1806–1855?)


Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts

Dimensions

Overall: 17.5 x 17 x 12.4 cm (6 7/8 x 6 11/16 x 4 7/8 in.)

Accession Number

2001.820.2

Medium or Technique

Silver

Not On View

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Silver hollowware

The object has a raised body, applied floral concave decoration above the shoulder, exuberant floral decoration around the perimeter. The short splayed trumpet foot is plain. The cream pitcher has a generously sized self spout with an applied rounded band at the rim.


In 1835 partners John B. Jones and Samuel S. Ball (see cat. no. 215) enlarged their partnership. By 1836 George B. Jones replaced John B. Jones as head of the firm, but, according to the listings in the Boston directory, John maintained an office upstairs at 123 Washington Street, the firm’s longtime address. By 1839 Samuel S. Ball disappeared from the list of partners, replaced by True M. Ball.
Born in Gloucester, Massachusetts, John J. Low apprenticed in the silver and jewelry trade in nearby Salem. He appeared in the 1822 Boston directory first as a partner in the firm of Putnam and Low. By 1825 he appeared on his own, and in 1828 was joined by Daniel W. Low (for that year only) and his brother Francis as partners in the Jones firm, where they remained until the late 1840s.
Commissioned to deliver grand presentation pieces, such as the vase presented to Daniel Webster in 1835 and the Brittania Cup to Samuel Cunard (1787 – 1865) in 1840, the partners were fortunate in their alliance with Boston silversmiths, especially the talented Obadiah Rich (see cat. nos. 226 – 28).
This rich, elaborately decorated service was presented in January 1837 by Merchant’s Bank, Boston, to Mark Healey at the end of his tenure as bank president. The financial panic of that year led to the loss of Healey’s fortune, and he declared bankruptcy in 1842. He later regained his fortune and built an estate in Lynn, Massachusetts, that he named Ashton. In 1855 he added a townhouse at 2 Pemberton Square, Boston. The tea set is accompanied by a water pitcher (cat. no. 214) apparently presented to Healey at the same time.

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

“Presented by the Merchants Bank, Boston to Mark Healy, January 1837 / on his resignation of the Presidency of the Bank.” in script, within a floral reserve

Markings

“JONES, LOWS & BALL / Boston / Pure Silver Coin / Boston,” each in a rectangle and arranged to form a rough square, struck on bottom of all. The retailer’s and place names are in roman letters, the quality mark in italics.

Provenance

: Fashioned for Mark Healey (1791 – 1876), m. Caroline Foster (1800 – 1871) in 1821; by descent to their daughter Caroline Wells Healey (1822 – 1912) and Charles Henry Appleton Dall (1816 – 1886), m. 1844; to their son William Healey Dall (1845 – 1927) and Annette Whitney (1859 – 1943), m. 1880; to their daughter Marion Dall (1882 – 1962); to her son Mark Healey Dall (1915 – 2000), who retained the Dall family name, and Pauline Kingsland Dall (b. 1920), m. 1947, who made the gift in her husband’s name.

Credit Line

Gift of Mark Healey Dall