Salver

about 1750
Jacob Hurd (American, 1702 or 1703–1758)


Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts

Dimensions

Overall: 3 x 18.8 cm, 0.23 kg (1 3/16 x 7 3/8 in., 0.51 lb.)

Accession Number

1982.183

Medium or Technique

Silver

Not On View

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Silver hollowware

The circular scalloped salver has a cast rim featuring conjoined curves and scrolls. Twelve points on the rim are marked by alternating small and large fluted-shell decoration. A conforming molded edge appears on the underside. The salver is supported by three cast cabriole legs with pad feet.


According to the scratch weight, the salver was originally one of a pair and was probably used as a serving piece in the household of the governor of Rhode Island. Although the mate is lost, it joins a small group of similar pairs recorded in mid-eighteenth-century Boston. Hurd produced an octagonal pair in the 1750s that bear the Hastings arms, and Paul Revere II fashioned “2 small scoloppd Salvers” in 1762 for Nathaniel Hurd, who engraved them for the Franklin family. The lively Rococo border on this example suggests that it was made between 1745 and 1755, near the end of Hurd’s productive career. A larger example made in 1761 by Paul Revere II for Lucretia Chandler possesses a similarly complex arrangement of cyma curves with alternating shells.
A prolific silversmith, Hurd was particularly adept at producing salvers of varying sizes and shapes; he made about twenty-four between 1730 and 1745. The technical challenge posed by the flat serving surface suggests that Hurd employed a journeyman who specialized in this form.
Among the many known examples of the Greene arms, especially fine ones include an embroidered hatchment made in 1745 by Katherine Greene (1731 – 1777), daughter of silversmith Rufus Greene; a tankard engraved in 1762 by Paul Revere II for Thomas Greene (1705 – 1763); and a richly engraved cann by Hurd.

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 Greene family arms appear at the center of salver. The arms depict azure three stags trippant within a rocaille shell, flanked by sheaves of wheat. The crest of a stag's head surmounts arms. Script engraving and scratch weight on underside of salver reads "The pair at 14 oz 16 dw 12 gr."

Markings

A small touchmark "HURD" in roman capitals within a rectangle appears on the salver below the engraving and near the rim.
Ada Mark * F4765

Provenance

The original owner was probably William Greene (1695 – 1758), governor of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations from 1743 to 1758, and his wife, Catharine Greene (1698 – 1777), a second cousin, m. 1719. By descent to their son William Greene (1731 – 1809), governor of Rhode Island 1778 – 1785, and his wife, Catharine Ray (1731 – 1794), m. 1758. By descent through their daughter Phebe Greene (1760 – 1828) and her husband and first cousin, Samuel Ward (1756 – 1832), Lieut. Col. in the Continental Army, m. 1778. Ward was named for his father, Samuel Ward (1725 – 1776), who was governor of Rhode Island in 1762 and 1765 – 68; the elder Ward was also a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1774 to 1776. Probable descent through their son William Greene Ward (1802 – 1848) and Abby Maria Hall (1802 – 1887) of New York City, m. 1830; to their son Charles Henry Ward (1833 – 1905) and Mary Montagu Parmely (1830 – 1913), m. 1857; to their son Henry Merion Ward (1870 – 1949) and Lucy Bond Morgan of Washington, D.C., to their son Samuel Bond Ward (1905 – 1982) of La Plata, Maryland, and acquired by the Museum.

Credit Line

Marion E. Davis Fund