1827 - 1830
each overall: 9 1/8 x 1 3/4 x 1 3/8 in. ( 23.2 x 4.4 x 3.5 cm ) Silver Weight: c) 1 oz (troy) 18 dwt (59 g) Silver W
engraved: on the handles: "MB" in bright-cut script stamped: on the undersides of the handles: "FELLOWS & STORM" in a rectangle
Nine silver tablespoons with downturned fiddle handles with basket decoration and the engraved initials, "MB" in bright-cut script; flared shoulders and pointed oval bowls with shell decoration; makers' marks stamped on the underside of the handles.
These charming spoons, ornamented with an overflowing basket of fruit and flowers, demonstrate the persistence of traditional silvermaking techniques and the reliance on simple time-honored methods for producing decoration in multiples. To ornament these spoons, the silversmith placed each handle end on a cut metal die and struck it to impress the decoration. While die-struck ornament persisted into the nineteenth century, this and other traditional processes began to be supplemented by labor-saving mechanical devices like the drop press and the flatting mill. These generously sized tablespoons bear the initials of Mary Beekman (1800-1885), who married William Axtell De Peyster (1793-1856) in 1822. Although such spoons were typically purchased in groups of a dozen, this set has been composed of nine spoons at least since Mary De Peyster's death in 1885. The inventory of her estate lists "9 Table sp. (basket of ___)" weighing nineteen ounces, along with twenty-six other items (or sets) of silver inherited by her daughters.
Bequest of Catherine Augusta De Peyster
Mary Beekman (1800-1885), who married Wiliam Axtell De Peyster (1793-1856); to their daughter Catherine Augusta De Peyster (1835-1911), the donor.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.