Overall: 3 3/8 x 7 3/4 in. ( 8.6 x 19.7 cm ) Silver Weight: 16 oz (troy) 2 dwt (501 g)
engraved: on the base: "R/ H C" in block letters stamped: on the base: "B" crowned
Wrought silver bowl, deep, bowl-shaped body on a cast, applied molded foot; engraved on the base, "R/ H C" in block letters; maker's mark on the base.
This bowl is engraved with the initials of Henry Rutgers (1712-1779) and his wife, Catherine De Peyster (1711-after 1775), who may have received it upon their marriage in 1732. The bowl descended for five generations in a direct line, primarily through daughters. The heirloom retained a certain mystique among its later owners; Mary Conger Vanamee, the bowl's sixth owner, contrived an entire narrative around the object for a chapter of her 1938 book, New York's Making, Seen through the Eyes of My Ancestors. Mrs. Vanamee's book held particular interest for another De Peyster descendent, Waldron Phoenix Belknap, Jr., a distant cousin and avid collector of family portraits and silver heirlooms. Mrs. Vanamee, who settled in England, decided to give the bowl to Belknap during WWII to bring to America for safekeeping, to convey it "from this turmoil to the comparative peace of its homeland."
Gift of Mrs. Waldron Phoenix Belknap, Sr.; The Waldron Phoenix Belknap, Jr. Collection
Catherine De Peyster (1711-after 1775), who married Henry Rutgers (1712-1779); to their daughter Mary Rutgers (b. 1747), who married Stephen McCrea (1751-1795); to their daughter Catherine Rutgers McCrea (1786-1831), who married Timothy Hedges (b. 1780); to their daughter Mary McCrea Hedges (1819-1884), who married Abraham Conger (1814-1887); to their son Clarence Rapelje Conger (1851-1911), who married Margaret Lynch (1850-1912); to their daughter Mary Rutgers Conger (1883-1955), who married Parker Vanamee (1885-1919); purchased from Mary Conger Vanamee in 1944 by Waldron Phoenix Belknap, Jr. (1899-1949); inherited by his mother, Mrs. Waldron Phoenix Belknap, Sr. (1874-1959), the donor.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.