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Sugar bowl and cover

Object Number: 
1965.15ab
Date: 
ca. 1750
Medium: 
Silver
Dimensions: 
Overall: 4 1/4 x 5 in. ( 10.8 x 12.7 cm ) Bowl: 3 1/8 x 5 in. ( 7.9 x 12.7 cm ) Part (cover): 4 7/8 x 1 1/4 in. (12.
Marks: 
stamped: on base: "IBV" in oval engraved: center of the cover: "A S" in block letters
Description: 
Wrought silver sugar bowl and cover; deep, bowl-shaped body, with a flared shoulder and applied vertical rim; on applied and seamed vertical footring; domed cover with applied and seamed handle (duplicate of footring) engraved on the center of the cover "A S" in block lettering; maker's mark stamped on the base.
Gallery Label: 
The practice of taking sugar with tea was a European innovation, quickly adopted in the American colonies. Sugar bowls, fitted with covers to protect the contents from moisture and pests, became an essential component of American tea equipage by the mid-eighteenth century. This design, popular at mid-century, imitates Chinese porcelain covered rice bowls. The cover, fitted with a reel that doubles as a foot, can be inverted to serve as an additional dish or spoon tray. The bowl and cover are both engraved with the initials "A * S," believed to refer to Anne Smith (ca. 1732-1814) of Smithtown, a village on the north shore of Long Island. Anne married Obadiah Smith (ca. 1722-1794) of Smithtown in 1752, and the sugar bowl may well have been a gift at the time of her marriage.
Credit Line: 
Purchase
Provenance: 
Probably owned by Anne Smith (ca. 1732-1814), who married Obadiah Smith (ca. 1722-1794); descent unknown; to dealer Israel Sack, New York City; to collector John D. Kernan, Jr., New Haven, Conn., around 1955; by purchase from Kernan, 1965.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group