Spoon (one of a pair)

Jacob Boelen I (Netherlandish (born in Amsterdam), about 1657–1729/30)

Object Place: New York, New York


30.1 x 5 cm (11 7/8 x 1 15/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


Americas, Europe


Silver flatware

This is a swaged spoon with an upturned wavy-handle tip with a long tapered rattail on back of elliptical bowl.

This pair of wavy-handle spoons is among a handful of utensils by Jacob Boelen that are known. Although most bear engraved initials, none has been ascribed to specific owners, and thus their fabrication dates remain inconclusive. Until further research reveals the life and marriage dates of their owners, a date range of 1700 to 1720 affixed to a spoon in the Yale collection may serve as a useful frame of reference.
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.


Engraved "WH" conjoined, over "H * M," on back of handle tip


Marked on back of handle above bowl "I B" barred, within a shield having a crown above.


The initials “WH” probably refer to a member of the Hubbard or Holmes family of New Jersey. Known ownership begins with Huldah Holmes (1779–1851) of Monmouth County, New Jersey, and Elias Hubbard (1776–1864) of Flatlands, New Jersey, m. 1801. To their daughter Mary Hubbard (1819–1858) and Garret G. Bergen (b. 1817) m. 1841, or to Bergen’s second wife, Sarah Conover (b. 1835), m. 1861, the grandchild of Elias and Huldah (Holmes) Hubbard, through their daughter Sarah Hubbard (1805–1867), wife of Garret P. Conover of Middletown Point, New Jersey. To Francis Henry Bergen (1863–1932), son of Sarah Conover and Garret G. Bergen, who in 1882 m. Meta Johnson (1862–1939). By descent to their daughter Ruth Bergen (1893–1966) and Robert G. Dort (1891–1950), m. 1928; to their daughter, Anne Dort Moffett (Mrs. Warren C. Moffett) of Boston, Massachusetts, the donor.

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Warren Christie Moffett in honor of her grandfather, Francis Henry Bergen, and her mother, Ruth Bergen Dort