Teaspoon (one of three)

about 1760
Zachariah Brigden (American, 1734–1787)

Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts


Overall: 2.9 x 14.6 cm, 0.02 kg (1 1/8 x 5 3/4 in., 0.04 lb.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View




Silver flatware

This teaspoon has a round upturned handle with midrib on front and an elliptical bowl having a drop on the back and a finely modeled twelve-lobe shell pattern.

These three spoons descended in the donor’s family, along with a fourth of the same size and pattern made by Samuel Edwards (cat. no. 55). The set of four matched spoons provides a lesson in the transmission of style to apprentices and among family members.
Bridgen may have received or purchased the swages for these spoons through Thomas Edwards, who has traditionally been considered his master. The identical spoon marked by Samuel Edwards, Thomas’s younger brother, highlights the fluid relationships among colonial silversmiths and their workshops, assistants, and tools. The potential for sharing silversmithing resources generationally is well illustrated by Samuel’s bequest of “a swage for tea and large spoons” of unknown design to his nephew, silversmith Joseph Edwards Jr. (1737 – 1783).

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.




"Z [pellet] Brigden" in italics within a shaped cartouche on back of stem.


The original owners are unknown, but family history of descent is claimed through Sarah Winslow West Deming (1722 – 1788), daughter of mariner John Winslow (1693 – 1731) and Sarah Pierce (1697 – 1771) of Boston, m. 1721. Sarah Winslow m. John West (1722 – 1750) of Yarmouth, Massachusetts; in 1752 she m. Boston merchant John Deming (d. 1797). The spoons were probably acquired sometime after her marriage to Deming. Subsequent descent is unknown until 1946, when the set, described by the donors as the “Winslow spoons,” was received as a wedding gift from a family member.

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. and Mrs Julius McNutt Ramsay, Jr.