Overall: 5/8 x 6 x 5 1/4 in. ( 1.6 x 15.2 x 13.3 cm ) Silver Weight: 2 oz (troy) 4 dwt (69 g)
engraved: in the center: "C D P" in foliate bright-cut script Maker's mark "IR" in rectangle; the Dutch lion (crowned lion rampant); Amsterdam city mark (three crosses in a shield crowned); and date letter "W" for 1683 all struck on underside.
Wrought silver pin tray; shamrock shaped with four oval depressions around a raised oval in the center engraved, "C D P" in foliate script; between each oval is a raised heart; four cast scroll legs applied beneath the ovals; maker's marks stamped on the base.
Made to hold the straight pins that were essential to fastening a woman's dress in the seventeenth century, this tray is a type found in large, elaborate toilet sets used by aristocratic women beginning in the seventeenth century. It is unclear whether the tray once belonged to a set or was purchased as a stand-alone item. Made from extremely thin-gauge silver using basic techniques, the tray would not have represented a large investment of either silver or labor. Its design and construction, however, are careful and deliberate. The engraved initials link the tray to Catharina De Peyster (1665-before 1734) and the raised hearts suggest that it may have been purchased as a wedding gift for her 1683 marriage.
Krohn, Deborah, Peter Miller, and Marybeth De Filippis, eds., "Dutch New York Between East and West: The World of Margrieta van Varick." New York: Bard Graduate Center, New-York Historical Society, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009, p. 232-3
Bequest of Catharine Augusta de Peyster
Catharina De Peyster (1665-before 1734), who married Abraham De Peyster (1657-1728); to their son Abraham De Peyster, Jr. (1696-1767), who married Margaretta Van Cortlandt (1694-1769); to their son James A. De Peyster (1726-1799), who married Sarah Reade (1724-1802); to their son Colonel Abraham De Peyster (1753-1799), who married Catharine Augusta Livingston (1759-1839); to their son William Axtell De Peyster (1793-1856), who married Mary Beekman (1800-1885); to their daughter, Catharine Augusta De Peyster (1835-1911), the donor.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.