Serving spoon

Andrew Tyler (American, 1692 or 1693–1741)

Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts


6.6 x 36.4 cm (2 5/8 x 14 5/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View




Silver flatware

This large serving spoon has an upturned midrib handle tip and a shallow oval bowl with an attentuated rattail on back.

With their midrib decoration and rounded handles, large serving spoons of the 1730s and 1740s resembled the tea- and tablespoons of the same period. These oversized utensils are the likely successors to the rare hollow-handled serving spoons of the type made in the first decades of the century (see cat. no. 47). Other makers of midrib serving spoons include Thomas Edwards (YUAG), William Pollard (MFA), and Daniel Boyer (MFA) of Boston. Philip Syng Jr. of Philadelphia made a similar example with a pierced bowl (MFA), and a “stuffing spoon” by Tobias Stoughtenburgh of New York has a straight handle with a central rib (WM).1

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.


"W / S * L" engraved on back of handle tip in exaggerated, later script.


Marked "A [pellet] TYLER" in broad roman letters within a rounded rectangle.


Although engraved at a later date, initials on the spoon are believed to be those of Samuel Waldo (1695-1759) of Roxbury, and Lucy Wainwright (1704-1741) of Ipswich, Massachusetts, m. 1722. The spoon probably descended to their daughter, Lucy Waldo (1724-1768) and Isaac Winslow (1709-1777), m. 1747, and to their daughter, Sarah Tyng Winslow (1765-1826), who married her first cousin, Samuel Waldo (1764-1798) in 1789. The spoon descended to their son, William Tyng Waldo (1793-1844). The latter Waldo, being unmarried, probably gave the spoon to his second cousin Elizabeth Winslow (1787-1866) and William Pickering (b. England; d. 1813) m. 1807; to their nephew Francis Winslow (1818-1862), the last surviving member of this line to carry the Winslow name, and his wife, Mary Sophia Nelson (1827-1903). m. 1846; to their son Arthur (1860-1938), and Mary L. Devereux (d. 1944); to their daughter Charlotte Winslow (1890-1954) and her husband, Robert Traill Spence Lowell (1887-1947), m. 1916; to their son, the poet Robert Traill Spence Lowell, Jr. (1917-1977) and his second wife, writer Elizabeth Hardwicke (b. 1916), m. 1949; to their daughter, the donor: Harriet Winslow Lowell (b. 1957).

Waldo Lincoln, "Waldo Family in America," NEHGR 52 (1898): 221; Delmar R. Lowell, comp., ed, The Historic Genealogy of the Lowells in America from 1639 to 1899 (no city: Published by the author, 1899), p. 120, 226, 285; Waldo Lincoln, comp., The Genealogy of the Waldo Family, A Record of the Descendants of Cornelius Waldo of Ipswich, Massachusetts from 1647-1900, 2 vols., (Worcester, Ma.: Press of Charles Hamilton, 1902), p. 96, 183-85, 186-7, 311-12; Arthur Winslow, Francis Winslow, His Forbears & Life (Norwood, Ma.: privately printed; The Plimpton Press, 1935), p. 1, 24, 32, 37; 48-9; Harvard Class of 1939 (Cambridge, Ma.: Harvard University Printing Office, 1964), p. 660; Clifford Lewis 3rd and John Devereux Kernan, Devereux of the Leap, County Wexford, Irleand, and Utica, New York; Nicholas Devereux, 1791-1855 (s.l. Lewis, 1974), p. 88; Harvard Class of 1939, 50th Anniversary Report (Cambridge, Ma.: Class of 1939, 1989), p. 324; Sarah Payne Stuart, My First Cousin, Once Removed: Money, Madness and the Family of Robert Lowell (New York: Harper, Collins, Publishers, 1998), p. 2-11; 13-14; 17, 33-8, 49, 52, 95-6, and passim; Department of Vital Statistics, Marriages 1 (1916):158; Department of Vital Statistics, Marriages (1916) 1:158, Deaths (1938) 10:485; Sibley's Harvard Graduates 9, p. 101; Who's Who in America, 44th Edition, 1986-87 (Wilmette, Ill.: Marquis Who's Who, Macmillan Directory Division, 1987) 1:1187; undated correspondence from Arthur Winslow to Kathryn Buhler, departmental files, American Decorative Arts and Sculpture.

Credit Line

Gift of Harriet Winslow Lowell