Monteith

1868–96
Samuel Kirk & Son (active 1846–1861, 1868–1896), Samuel Kirk (American, 1793–1872), Henry Child Kirk, Sr. (American, 1827–1914), Henry Child Kirk Jr. (American, joined firm in 1890)


Object Place: Baltimore, Massachusetts, United States

Dimensions

Overall: 20.5 x 26.2 cm, 1.33 kg (8 1/16 x 10 5/16 in., 2.93 lb.)

Accession Number

1989.810

Medium or Technique

Silver

On View

Forkner and Gill Family Gallery (Gallery 238)

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Silver hollowware

The crenelated detachable rim, rounded bowl, and domed foot of this raised monteith are decorated with an elaborate overall pattern of repousséd and chased flowers and foliage.


English in origin and a rare form in American silver (see cat. no. 141), the monteith was reserved for grand occasions, when it assumed pride of place on the tables of the wealthy. Produced during the last quarter of the nineteenth century, an era sometimes referred to as the “gilded age,” this lavishly hand-decorated punch bowl with its crownlike rim belonged to one of Boston’s most distinguished families.

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

"ALC" in entwined script, within a reserve of broken scrolls, engraved below rim. The Coolidge family crest, a griffin (a winged animal with a beak and birdlike forelegs, front proper right foot raised) on a torse, engraved within a second reserve of broken scrolls opposite monogram.

Markings

"S. KIRK & SON" in roman letters incuse, flanked at each end by "11 oz." within a rectangle, struck on base.

Provenance

Gift from Isabella Stewart Gardner to Anna Lyman Cabot and Joseph Randolph Coolidge III at the time of their marriage in 1913. By descent to Joseph Randolph Coolidge IV, the donor.

Credit Line

Gift of Joseph Randolph Coolidge IV