Tazza

about 1830–40
Newell Harding (1796–1862)


Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Dimensions

Overall: 13.5 x 17.7 cm, 0.38 kg (5 5/16 x 6 15/16 in., 0.84 lb.)

Accession Number

1999.64.22

Medium or Technique

Coin silver

On View

Forkner and Gill Family Gallery (Gallery 238)

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Silver hollowware

The fluted bowl of the compote is encircled with a wide rim decorated with a repousséd and chased grapevine and edged with an applied beaded band. A two-part stem joined by a rounded baluster curves into the domed base, which is ornamented with swirling repousséd and chased acanthus leaves. An applied beaded band circles the lower rim of the base, which sits on four cast paw feet.


Although this sophisticated tazza bears the mark Harding used until 1851, it seems unlikely he was the maker, given his specialization in flatware. The graceful design and fine craftsmanship of the fluted bowl; dainty ribbon encircling the stem; lively flat-chased acanthus leaves of the base; finely cast claw feet; and deftly rendered grapevine indicate a hollowware maker of high ability. During this period, Obadiah Rich, the celebrated Boston silversmith, worked a few doors away from Harding’s shop on Court Avenue. Like others, Rich may have wholesaled unmarked work, possibly this compote, for Harding to retail.

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

None

Markings

Marked: "NEWELL HARDING / PURE COIN" in roman letters struck incuse on foot, below beaded edge.

Provenance

Purchased between the 1970s and 1990s by the donor.

Credit Line

Gift of Malcolm Parkes Hunt