Teaspoon (one of a pair)

about 1740–50
Jacob Hurd (American, 1702 or 1703–1758)


Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts

Dimensions

2.4 x 12.9 cm (15/16 x 5 1/16 in.)

Accession Number

1992.231

Medium or Technique

Silver

On View

Carolyn A. and Peter S. Lynch Gallery (Gallery 132)

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Silver flatware

The teaspoon bears swaged Rococo shells within a cartouche on upturned handle tip; a single drop and palmette motif adorn the back of the bowl.


This diminutive pair of spoons was probably commissioned by Boston merchant Jacob Wendell. Their delicate form is enhanced with a family crest, swaged palmette bowls, and Rococo shells at the handle tips. They are exceptionally decorative examples by Hurd, who produced numerous teaspoons with plain midrib handles and simple drops or shells on bowls.
The Wendells owned several pieces of silver that carry their initials, names, arms, or crests. An example of the family arms and crest, accompanied by a magnificently engraved mantling, can be found on a tankard that Peter Van Dyck made about 1705 – 15 for Harmanus Wendell (1678 – 1731), Jacob’s first cousin. A sugar bowl that Hurd made for Anne Wendell also bears the family arms. John Edwards produced a pair of mugs for Jacob and Sarah (Oliver) Wendell (cat. no. 49), and Edward Webb crafted a porringer that bears the initials “IW” (or “MI”), which have been interpreted by Kathryn C. Buhler as those of Jacob Wendell or Mary Jackson, his descendant.
One of the handles bears an inscription that was probably engraved for Thomas Smith, who married Jacob Wendell’s widow, Elizabeth Hunt Wendell, in 1766.

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 on back of handle tip with the Wendell family crest of a three-masted vessel to sinister having furled sails. "T/S / 1728" in shaded roman letters engraved below crest.

Markings

Original mark obscured by old repair to stem.

Provenance

According to the donor, the teaspoons were first owned by Jacob Wendell (1715 – 1753) and Elizabeth Hunt (1717 – 1799), m. 1736. Elizabeth Hunt Wendell m. second, Thomas Smith (1702 – 1795), in 1766. The spoons probably descended to Elizabeth Wendell (1742 – 1799), daughter of the above-mentioned Jacob and Elizabeth Hunt Wendell, m. Rev. Peter Thacher Smith (1731 – 1826) of Portland and Wyndham, Maine, in 1763 (or 1765). Smith was the son of the aforementioned Thomas Smith and his first wife, Sarah Tyng (d. 1742). By descent to their daughter Lucy Smith (1769 – 1864) and Abraham Anderson (1758 – 1844), m. 1788; to their son John Anderson (1792 – 1853) and his second wife, Ann Williams Jameson (b. 1804), m. 1822. To their son John Farwell Anderson (1823 – 1887) and Marcia Bowman Winter (b. 1827), m. 1847/48; to their daughter Anne Hichborn Anderson (1849 – 1919) and Charles William Lord (1845 – 1917), m. 1870; to their niece Annie L. Edmands (1878 – 1977) and Francis Smith Dane (1874 – 1964), m. 1903; to their daughter Marcia Winter Anderson Dane (1905 – 1977), the donor.

Credit Line

Gift of Annie L. E. and Francis Dane