User Menu

MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Salt spoon (one of a pair)

Start collecting

This delicate salt spoons has an upturned midrib handle and a slender stem terminating in a flat shovel-shaped bowl curving gently outward at flattened end; a worn shell drop appears on the back of the bowl.


On back of handle, near tip, in roman letters: A; In script, engraved later on stemp, near tip: C. T. to T. E. W.


Marked on back within a rectangle: HURD.


According to the donor, the patriot John Hancock gave the salt spoons to his first cousin, Lydia Bowes (1749-1805) on the occasion of her marriage in 1770 to Rev. Phinehas Whitney (1740-1819) of Shirley. By descent to their son, Thomas Whitney (1771-1884) and Henrietta Parker (1775-1864) of the same town, m.1799; to their son, James Phineas Whitney (1802-1847) and Lydia Bowes Parker Treadwell (b. 1815), m. 1836; to their daughter, Henrietta Parker Whitney (1837-1900) and Andrew McFarland Davis (b. 1833) of Worcester, m. 1862. To their daughter, Frederica King Davis (1869-before 1964), and Thomas Russell Watson (1850-1920) of Plymouth and Middletown, m. 1901; to their three daughters, Eleanor Whitney Watson (Mrs. Thomas B. Coolidge) (b. 1902), Marjorie (Mrs. T. Dana Hill) (b. 1903), and Mrs. William Payson. Purchased from Mrs. Coolidge and Mrs. Hill by the donors and made a gift.

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William L. Payson

about 1740–50

Object Place

Boston, Massachusetts


9.2 x 1.8 cm (3 5/8 x 11/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique





Silver flatware