Porringer

1755–1800
Paul Revere, Jr. (American, 1734–1818)


Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Dimensions

5 x 21.4 cm (1 15/16 x 8 7/16 in.)

Accession Number

1991.783

Medium or Technique

Silver

Not On View

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Silver hollowware

The raised vessel has a stepped and domed base rising to convex sides and everted rim. A center point is evident in center and underside of bowl. The keyhole-style handle is soldered at right angles to the rim.


Despite the name of the donor and the prominence of the Waldo family in colonial Boston, it is unknown whether this porringer descended in this line to Denman Waldo Ross, the first known owner. It is more likely that Ross acquired it along with the many works of art from around the world that he accumulated as a Harvard professor and trustee of the Museum. A scratch price of $15 on the base suggests that Ross purchased the porringer during his lifetime and later gave it to his cousin Gretchen Howes Waldo.

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

On handle facing bowl, the monogram "M S" is engraved in entwined script. Scratch weight of "9-. oz- 9" engraved on base; in a large modern hand "8 = 14" appears to the right of "K J [J?] / $15.00."

Markings

"P [pellet] REVERE" within a rectangle marked in center of bowl and faintly on back of handle.

Provenance

Early history unknown. The porringer was loaned to the Museum in 1916 by Denman Waldo Ross (1853-1935), former trustee of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and son of Frances Walker Waldo (1825-1884) and John Ludlow Ross (b. 1813), m. 1848. Ross transferred ownership of the porringer in 1930 to Gretchen Howes Waldo (1884-1976) (later Mrs. Thomas Mott Shaw) of Concord, Massachusetts, whose husband, Charles Sidney Waldo, Jr. (1883-1964) was Ross's first cousin once removed. In 1952 she transferred ownership to her son, the donor, Peter Waldo (b. 1917) of Carmel, New York.

Credit Line

Gift of Peter Waldo