Spoon holder

about 1854
Vincent LaForme (American, born in Germany, 1823–1893), Retailed by Lincoln & Foss (active 1847–1858), Retailer Albert L. Lincoln (died in 1903), Retailer Charles M. Foss (died in 1892)

Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Overall: 14 x 9.5 cm (5 1/2 x 3 3/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


On View

Forkner and Gill Family Gallery (Gallery 238)




Silver hollowware

This raised tulip-shaped body sits on a short-stemmed domed foot encircled with a garland of repousséd and chased floral decoration. On the body, crisp oak leaves and acorns set in relief against a punched background frame an engraved inscription. The edges of the base and rim are beaded.

Cups similar to this were used to store the numerous silver spoons likely to be owned by well-to-do households at midcentury. Placed on a sideboard or table, spoonholders held a small cache of flatware for ready use.
The motif of acorns and oak leaves that decorates this goblet appeared on numerous wares marked by Vincent Laforme. Similar decoration rings a large salver engraved with an inscription of 1857 as well as two teapots and the creamer and sugar bowl of a five-piece tea set made after 1854.1 The spoonholder was sold by Lincoln & Foss, a Boston retailer (see cat. no. 224).

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.


In script in a reserve on the front "A. E. Homer / from / A. Adams / -1854.- "


“LINCOLN & FOSS” within a rectangle struck above center point. Below are the incuse pseudohallmarks, quality, and place marks of an eagle in shaped cartouche, an eagle in shaped cartouche, and “L PURE COIN / BOSTON.”


Presented to Anne Elizabeth Homer (b. 1830) of Boston by A. Adams; the goblet descended in the Homer/Adams/Eliot families to sisters Dr. Martha May Eliot (1891 – 1978) and Dr. Abigail Adams Eliot (1892 – 1992), the donors.

Credit Line

Gift of Miss Martha May Eliot and Miss Abigail Adams Eliot