Jesse Kip (American, about 1660–1722)
Object Place: New York, New York
6.7 x 19.3 x 10.2 cm (2 5/8 x 7 5/8 x 4 in.)
Medium or Technique
Manning House (Gallery LG36)
The tankard is raised and has tapered sides and a drawn and molded base with leaf decoration. The flat lid with one shallow step and crenate lip has a scrolled thumbpiece that descends to a five-part hinge and seamed scroll handle with baluster decoration. A U-shaped air vent appears below the upper join. A cast cherub relief is applied to shield-shaped terminus, beneath which is an even-sided cross air vent. The elaborate but worn scrolled and foliated cartouche appears opposite the handle. The flange within the lid and portions of the baluster drop are clumsily repaired.
Of French Huguenot and Dutch parentage, Jesse Kip was born into a politically active New York family. He was the fourth son of Jacob Hendrickzen Kip (1631 – 1690), who was a member of the governor’s council and provincial secretary. His mother, Maria de la Fontaine, was the daughter of Huguenot physician Johannes de la Montagne, who also served on the governor’s council and was vice director of Fort Orange.
During his thirty-year career, Kip was involved with a number of New York silversmiths through his extended family. John Marshall Phillips has suggested that Kip was responsible for the apprenticeships of his brother Benjamin (1678 – 1702) and his cousin Peter Van Imburgh (1689 – 1740). Cornelius Kierstede (1674 – 1757) and Benjamin Wynkoop (1675 – 1751) were his kinsman through marriage and young enough to have benefited by working in his shop.
Kip is noted in New York land and city records as a merchant and goldsmith. While engaged in public service, he was linked with two other silversmiths in the North Ward of New York. As an assessor in 1697, he served with alderman Jacob Boelen. The following year, he and Gerrit Onckelbag (1670 – 1732) were collectors, while Boelen remained an alderman. In 1699 Kip and Onkelbag continued as collectors, and Boelen became examiner. Kip ceased his silversmithing activities sometime after 1709, when he left New York and joined his and his wife’s family in Newtown, Long Island, where he operated a fulling mill for the thickening of fabric.
This tankard may have been the smaller of two noted in the 1741 will of Edmund Kingsland, ancestor of the donor. Diminutive in scale, it is executed in the signature style of New York silversmiths, with its flat lid, crenate lip, cut-leaf ornamentation at the base, and traces of meander wirework. It is one of about fifteen examples made by Kip, who produced a variety of forms in silver, including several tankards, two-handled cups, a porringer, and several sucket forks.
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.
Worn engraving of Granthan arms on a shield, emblazoned ermine a griffen segreant gules; crest a demi griffen. Swirled foliate mantling symmetrically surrounds the whole.
Marked "I K within a rectangle below rim, to left of handle.
Edmund Kindsland (1680-1742), New Barbadoes, NJ; probably by descent in the matrilinal line (1) to Anne Brown Bradley (Mrs. Samuel Eliot) (b 1894); 1952, lent by Mrs. Eliot to the MFA; by descent to her daughter Mary Eliot (Mrs. Grafton Fay); 1991, gift of Mary Eliot to the MFA. (Accession date: Nov 20, 1991)
1:Edmund beqeathed his large silver tankard to his daughter Mary, and his smaller one to his daughter Anna. This is probably Anna's. The vessel probably descended from one of the two Kingsland women to their niece Elizabeth Kingsland (1734 – 1808), daughter of their brother Col. William Kingsland (1704 – 1770) and Margarreta Coerten (or Courten) (1704 – 1756) of New Barbadoes Neck, New Jersey, m. 1732. Elizabeth Kingsland m. 1755 Josiah Hornblower (1729 – 1809) of Newark, New Jersey; to their son Chief Justice Joseph Coerten Hornblower (1777 – 1864), m. 1803 Mary Burnet (d. 1836); to their daughter Mary Hornblower (1816 – 1896) m.1844 Hon. Joseph P. Bradley (1813 – 1892), Justice of the United States Supreme Court; to their daughter Mary Burnet Bradley (b. 1845) m.1870 Henry Varnum Butler (b. 1821) of Patterson, New Jersey; to their daughter Mary Hornblower Butler m. 1898 Bancroft Gherardi (1873 – 1941), who died without issue. Mrs. Gherardi gave the tankard to her cousin Anne Brown Bradley (b. 1894) and Samuel Eliot of Manchester, Massachusetts.
Gift of Mary Eliot Fay and Curator's Fund