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Porringer

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The raised vessel has a domed center, convex sides, and a slightly everted rim. A center point is visible inside and underneath the bowl. Many dents mark the side, and two large unskilled repairs are visible on the bottom.

Inscription

Engraved "E * W" in shaded roman letters on the handle and facing toward the bowl.

Marks

To left of handle, "Hurd" is stamped in script, within an ellipse. On back of handle in upper and lower case "Jacob / Hurd" is stamped within a shield-shaped cartouche.

Provenance

The initials “E * W” were engraved for one of two women in the Wendell family of Boston. Elizabeth Quincy (1706 – 1746), m. John Wendell (about 1703 – 1762) in 1724, may have owned the porringer; a second possibility is her daughter Elizabeth (1729 – 1777), for young unmarried women often possessed silver engraved with their maiden initials. The latter Elizabeth m. Capt. Solomon Davis (1715 – 1791) about 1750. The porringer descended through their daughter Elizabeth Davis (1758 – 1833) and Dr. David Townsend (1753 – 1829), m. 1785. By descent to their son David S. Townsend (1790 – 1852) and Elizabeth Gerry (1790 – 1882), m. 1816. To their daughter Catherine Augusta Townsend (1823 – 1902) and Edward Standish Sherman (1818 – 1882), m. 1852. To their daughter Katherine Wendell Sherman (1854 – 1927), who became second wife of her first cousin Edward Britton Townsend (1848 – 1910), m. 1892. By descent to their son Wendell Townsend (1893 – 1963), who made it a gift to his cousin, Anne Torbet, the donor and wife of Horace A. White (1914 – 1979), m. 1937.

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Horace A. White

about 1730–40

Object Place

Boston, Massachusetts

Dimensions

4.9 x 20 cm (1 15/16 x 7 7/8 in.)

Accession Number

1980.323

Medium or Technique

Silver

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Silver hollowware