Overall: 5 5/8 x 7/8 x 1/2 in. ( 14.3 x 2.2 x 1.3 cm ) Silver Weight: 10 dwt (16 g)
engraved: on the underside of the handle: "W M V A" in block letters stamped: on the underside of the stem: "IH" in a heart
Silver teaspoon with a downturned wavy-end handle engraved, "W M V A" in block letters on the underside; elliptical bowl with a double, broad and rattail drop; maker's mark stamped on the underside of the stem.
According to the donor, Mrs. Thomas K. Gale, this well-worn teaspoon descended in the Harsen family. Mrs. Gale's ancestors included Jacob Harsen (1714-1775), after whom the Upper West Side neighborhood of Harsenville was named. The clumsily engraved initials on the spoon's handle have not been connected to a specific couple but might refer to members of the Van Arsdalen or Van Amak families, from whom the donor also descended. This spoon bears the mark of John Hastier, a silversmith who lived and worked in the affluent Dock Ward of New York, a neighborhood of wealthy French and English merchants. A runaway ad posted by Hastier in 1758 reveals that he owned a slave, Jasper, who worked as a skilled artisan in Hastier's workshop.
Gift of Mrs. Thomas K. Gale
Original owner unknown; reportedly descended in the Harsen family, possibly Jacob Harsen (1750-1835), who married Catherine Cozine (1749-1835); to their son Cornelius Harsen (1783-1838), who married Joanna Henrietta Ritter (1788-1843); to their daughter Joanna Harsen (1806-1838), who married Abraham Prall (1804-1857); to their daughter Cornelia Augusta Prall (1837-before 1913), who married Eastburn Benjamin (1837-ca. 1873); to their daughter Ida Benjamin (Mrs. Thomas K. Gale, 1862-1939), the donor.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.