Cup (from "Covered shaving cup on stand")
Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts
Overall: 18 x 11 x 6.3 cm (7 1/16 x 4 5/16 x 2 1/2 in.) Assembled dimensions: height: 8 1/4 in., diameter: 4 5/8 in.
Medium or Technique
Silver with ivory insulators
Not On View
The raised, elongated, gourd-shaped vessel is supported by three cast double-pad feet that scroll upward to seven-ribbed shells. The rim is accented with an applied, graduated, ribbed edge. A raised stepped dome with flange, air hole, and turned ivory finial forms the lid. The tall seamed handle rises above the lid; an abstracted leafy scroll forms the thumbgrip. Two ivory insulators are pinned into the handle, which is soldered to the body below the rim and at a lower swelling in the vessel.
Hollowware bearing the mark of Boston retailers Lincoln & Reed testifies to the firm’s sale of tableware that supplemented their core business as jewelers. Silver bearing their retail mark, along with that of Albert Coles & Co. or of Garrett Eoff and William Phyffe, suggests that their offerings were in the mainstream. Several exceptional works indicate that the firm may have, on occasion, employed highly skilled craftsmen.
This shaving cup on stand is executed in the Queen Anne style of the early eighteenth century, displaying the simple pad feet and shell ornaments of the era. It may have been made by Boston silversmith Obadiah Rich, who on at least one occasion sold work that was retailed by Lincoln & Reed.1 Until blindness overtook him about 1850, Rich was considered the most talented Boston silversmith of his generation. He produced several monumental forms in the ancient style and fashioned tableware in a wide range of updated colonial forms (cat. nos. 226 – 27).
This silver vessel is marked only by Lincoln & Reed, but it displays elements of Rich’s style. The use of a stand and burner was rare in the second quarter of the nineteenth century, yet Rich has been attributed as the maker of a chafing dish marked by Boston silversmiths Jones, Ball & Poor. Similarly, his use of shell supports for legs is also featured in the Museum’s sauceboats. The only other known example of this rare form is marked by Rich.
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.
Entwined script monogram "JLL" engraved on body opposite handle.
"LINCOLN & REED / BOSTON / PURE COIN" each stamped within a rectangle on base.
Original owner is unclear, but according to an old tag accompanying the object, it was J. L. Lloyd, which corresponds to the engraved initials. No further information until it was offered for sale at Northeast Auctions, about 1998 – 99, and purchased by silver dealers Spencer Marks of Massachusetts. Purchased by the donor about 1999 and made a gift in 2002.
Anonymous gift in honor of Jeannine Falino