Sauceboat (one of a pair)

about 1755–75
Daniel Henchman (American, 1730–1775)


Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts

Dimensions

10.3 x 18.9 x 11.1 cm (4 1/16 x 7 7/16 x 4 3/8 in.)

Accession Number

1979.409

Medium or Technique

Silver

Not On View

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Silver hollowware

This raised elliptical vessel has double-pad feet and knees, a scalloped rim, and a broad curving spout. The cast broken-scroll handle with foliate thumbgrip is soldered to rim at upper section and affixed to oval disk at lower terminal.


The double-pad feet and knees on these sauceboats are identical to those on an unengraved version by the silversmith that was formerly in the Cornelius C. Moore Collection at Providence College. The rococo handles — each with acanthus-leaf thumbgrip, broken scrolls, and sprigged terminus — are similar to one used by Henchman’s master, Jacob Hurd, about 1750. Henchman has updated the body by emphasizing a scalloped rim and shortened spout. The unusually heavy weight of the sauceboats is comparable to a pair made by Hurd for the Pickering family of Salem.
As with the Samuel Burt teapot (cat. no. 22), the Barrett arms were probably adapted from Blyth, as recorded in the Promptuarium Armorum of 1610.

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

Engraved with the later initial "W" in script above mark on base.
Engraved on side to left of handle with Barrett arms (ermine on a fess three lions rampant, with crest, a lion couchant).

Markings

Marked "Henchman" within a rectangle on bottom near center point.

Provenance

The donor’s family history and the Barrett family arms indicate that Samuel Barrett (1738 – 1798) and his second wife, Elizabeth Salisbury (1744 – 1796) of Boston, m. 1771, were likely the first owners. Probable descent suggests that the silver passed to Elizabeth’s brother Samuel Salisbury (1739 – 1818) and his first wife, Elizabeth Sewall (1740 – 1789), m. 1768; by descent to their son Samuel Salisbury (1769 – 1849) and Nancy Gardner (1786 – 1865), m. 1806; to their son Dr. Stephen Salisbury (1812 – 1875) and Elizabeth Parker Clark (b. 1824), m. 1844; to their daughter Elizabeth Parker Clark Salisbury (b. 1849) and Desmond FitzGerald (1846 – 1926), Museum trustee and civil engineer, m. 1870; to their daughter Harriot FitzGerald (b. 1872) and Robert Jones Clark, m. 1897. The sauceboat was inherited by their daughter Geraldine Clark (b. 1902), the donor, and her second husband, Vice Admiral John Sylvester (1904 – 1990). The initial “W” engraved at a later date remains unexplained.

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. John Sylvester in memory of her grandfather, Desmond FitzGerald, and her mother Harriot F. Clark