Teaspoon

about 1750–60
Samuel Edwards (American, 1705–1762)


Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts

Dimensions

2.7 x 14.4 cm (1 1/16 x 5 11/16 in.)

Accession Number

1990.367

Medium or Technique

Silver

Not On View

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Silver flatware

This small spoon with an elliptical bowl has a rounded upturned handle with a long midrib. The delicate twelve-lobed shell engraving on the back of the bowl descends from a long oval drop.


This spoon descended in the donor’s family, along with a three of the same size and pattern made by Zachariah Bridgen. The set of four matched spoons provides a lesson in the transmission of style to apprentices and among family members.
Bridgen may have received or purchased the swages for these spoons through Thomas Edwards, who has traditionally been considered his master. The identical spoon marked by Samuel Edwards, Thomas’s younger brother, highlights the fluid relationships among colonial silversmiths and their workshops, assistants, and tools. The potential for sharing silversmithing resources generationally is well illustrated by Samuel’s bequest of “a swage for tea and large spoons” of unknown design to his nephew, silversmith Joseph Edwards Jr. (1737 – 1783).

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 "SE" within a rounded rectangle on back of spoon.

Provenance

The original owners are unknown, but family history of descent is claimed through Sarah Winslow West Deming (1722 – 1788), daughter of mariner John Winslow (1693 – 1731) and Sarah Pierce (1697 – 1771) of Boston, m. 1721. Sarah Winslow m. John West (1722 – 1750) of Yarmouth, Massachusetts; in 1752 she m. Boston merchant John Deming (d. 1797).

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Julius McNutt Ramsey, Jr.