Spoon

1665–84
Jeremiah Dummer (American, 1645–1718)


Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts

Dimensions

5 x 18.1 cm (1 15/16 x 7 1/8 in.)

Accession Number

1990.484

Medium or Technique

Silver

On View

Manning House (Gallery LG36)

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Silver flatware

The spoon has a worn, somewhat rounded, fig-shaped bowl with raised V-shaped drop and a rounded handle, culminating in a wide rounded tip.


Related to the more common slip-top and apostle spoons, this so-called stump-end spoon was a rare form in England and the colonies. George Evelyn Paget How notes that early London examples date from 1635 and 1660 and have stems that are roughly octagonal.1 With its somewhat bulbous tip and rounded stem, the spoon may have been among the earliest that Dummer attempted. He produced one Puritan and one slip-top spoon about 1675, but mostly trifid-end and wavy-end spoons from about 1680 to 1710.

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

The roman letter "W" appears on back of handle above bowl; "A/AA" engraved on back of bowl.

Markings

" I [pellet] D/ [fleur de lis]" stamped on bowl within a heart-shaped device. A similar, less distinct mark appears on back of handle.

Provenance

(1). By 1979, purchased by Marshall Blankarn; 1979, lent by Mr. Blankarn to the MFA; by descent to his daughter, Mrs. Alexander Van R. Halsey; 1990, gift of Mrs. Halsey to the MFA. (Accession date: Sept 18, 1990)

1: Although no family history accompanies this spoon, earlier scholars have suggested descent in the Nicholas and Adams families of Boston, based upon the engraved initials. However, further research demonstrates at least one other genealogical scenario for ownership in the Waight and Anderson families.

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Alexander Van R. Halsey, in memory of her Father, Marshall P. Blankarn