Porringer

about 1820
Davis, Watson & Co. (about 1820), Edward E. Watson (American, died in 1839), Samuel Davis (American, active 1807–1842), Bartlett M. Bramhill (American, active about 1820)


Dimensions

5 x 20.5 cm (1 15/16 x 8 1/16 in.)

Accession Number

01.6449

Medium or Technique

Silver

Not On View

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Silver hollowware

The raised porringer is of standard form, with convex sides, domed bottom with center punch, everted rim, and applied cast handle in the so-called keyhole pattern.


Acquired in 1901, this modest keyhole-handled porringer was omitted by Kathryn C. Buhler from her two-volume catalogue of the Museum’s silver published in 1972, probably on the grounds that it fell outside the temporal boundaries of her book. It is included here as a representative example of a form that enjoyed a long popularity in this country.
The little-known firm of Davis, Watson & Co. was working in Boston in 1820 and consisted of the partnership of Samuel Davis, Edward Watson, and Bartlett M. Bramhill. Davis, active in Boston as a jeweler as early as 1807, and Watson may have been in partnership as early as 1815. By 1825 the Boston Directory indicates that they were “importers.”
The Museum’s collection also includes a pair of sugar tongs (1971.317) and a tablespoon (1971.318) by the same firm.

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

"W" on top of handle

Markings

"DAVIS [pellet] WATSON & CO." in rectangle struck on underside of handle

Ada Mark * F4363

Provenance

Early history unknown. The engraved initial on the handle may stand for a member of the Weld family. Probably collected by Gardner Brewer, Boston. Part of the large and diverse bequest from the Gardner Brewer Collection by his daughter, Mrs. Arthur Croft, in July 1901.

Credit Line

Bequest of Mrs. Arthur Croft—The Gardner Brewer Collection