Sugar bowl with lid
Overall: 9 1/2 x 4 1/2 in. ( 24.1 x 11.4 cm ) Silver Weight: 13 oz (troy) 9 dwt (419 g)
engraved: in reserve: "J R" in bright-cut script stamped: on base: "T U" in a rectangle beside "I. V" in a rectangle
Wrought silver sugar bowl with lid; urn-shaped body on a high, circular pedestal, applied to a square base; corners of the base engraved with foliate motifs; applied rim with a wheel turned band; circular, high domed lid with a horizontally applied rim, decorated with a band of bright-cut bell flowers; lid surmounted with a pineapple finial, cast in three pieces; bright-cut bell flower band below the rim; bright-cut oval reserve suspended from a bow knot with floral swags engraved around the body; reserve engraved, "J R" in bright-cut script; maker's marks stamped on the side of the base.
Following the post-Revolutionary fashion for Neoclassical motifs, sugar containers based on ancient funerary urns became a popular silver form, particularly during the 1790s. This sugar urn is believed to have belonged to the Irish-born miniaturist John Ramage. An accomplished painter, Ramage trained as a goldsmith or jeweler and constructed many of the gold cases that held his precious ivory miniatures. This sugar urn, along with his desk, tools, and other possessions, descended through his family until it was donated to the Society in 1947. It has been suggested that Ramage engraved the ornament and initials that adorn the body of this urn. The engraved oval foliate medallion and foliate initials replicate devices for which Ramage was known.
John Ramage (ca. 1748-1802); probable descent through his third wife Catharine Collins; to their son Thomas A. Ramage (1793-1873), who married Susan Williams (1800-1874); to their son John L. Ramage (1840-1909), who married Eliza Lavinia Dodd (1850-1923); to her brother Samuel L. Dodd (1865-1944); acquired by Thomas Hollander; purchased in 1947 from Hollander's business, Hobby House, by anonymous donor on behalf of N-YHS.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.