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Salt (one of a pair)

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The salt is a shallow, raised, circular vessel with convex sides and scored rim, supported on three cast, cabriole-style legs with hooflike feet. Accompanying box for the salt, made in the nineteenth century, displays silk fittings with gilt block letters that read “JOSEPH WARREN TO SUSANNAH...

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Engraved "R * W / to / S* S " with "to / E * S " engraved in another hand. At a later date, names were added to fill out the initials as follows: Rd * Warren / to / Sh Sumner. / to / E * S / to / Elizabeth Sumner Lewis. / to George Lewis / 1771."


"B [pellet] BURT" within a rectangle on base, over center point.


Despite the prominence of the Boston families whose names grace these salts and their custom-made cases, the original owners of these salts remain elusive. The apparent ownership is through Susannah Stevens Sumner (1709-1733), whose sister Mary Stevens (about 1710-1800/03) was the mother of Joseph Warren (1741-1764) the patriot. Later engravings offer more secure information regarding the descendants of John Sumner (1705-1787) and Susannah Stevens (1709-1733), m. 1729, beginning with their great-granddaughter, Elizabeth Sumner Doggett (1791-1874) and Elijah Lewis (1773-1858), m. 1819;2 to their son, George Lewis (1820-1887) and Susan Minns Wheelwright (1827-1876), m. 1850; to their daughter Adeline Wheelwright Lewis (1858-1939) and John Heard (1859-1895), m. 1887;3 to their son, John Heard, Jr. (1889-1949) and his wife, the donor, Rosamond Gregor Marshall, m. 1939. 1n.a., "Genealogy of the Sumner Family," NEHGS 8 (April 1854):128j, 128m-128o; Richard Frothingham, Life and Times of Joseph Warren (Boston: Little, Brown, & Company, 1865), pp. 545-46; William Sumner Appleton, Record of the Descendants of William Sumner, of Dorchester, Mass. 1636. (Boston: David Clapp & Son, Printers, 1879), pp. 13, 31. 2Samuel Bradlee Doggett, A History of the Doggett-Daggett Family, (Boston: Press of Rockwell and Churchill, 1894), pp. 415, 440-45. 3Doggett 1894, pp. 487-88, 547-48; Edward W. Hanson, "The Heards of Ipswich, Massachusestts," (Boston: typescript, 1986), New England Historical and Genealogical Society Library, pp. 211, 244. See Jamestown 1907 pp. 35, 49, 58-9, 65, for silhouettes, a sampler, a tea caddy and additional articles owned by the Sumner family and lent by Mrs. John Heard.

Credit Line

Gift of Rosamond G. Heard

about 1760–70

Object Place

Boston, Massachusetts


Overall: 3 x 5.7 cm, 0.06 kg (1 3/16 x 2 1/4 in., 0.13 lb.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique





Silver hollowware