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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
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Maker(s):Coney, John
Culture:American (1655/56-1722)
Title:tankard
Date Made:ca. 1710
Type:Food Service
Materials:silver
Place Made:United States; Massachusetts; Boston
Measurements:overall: 5 3/4 in; 14.605 cm
Accession Number:  HD 54.450
1954-450_angle-view.jpg

Description:
Silver tankard made with the touchmark of a crown over "IC" over a coney (rabbit) in a shaped shield on the left side of the handle and cover for John Coney (1655/56-1722), and engraved with the initials "H/ N * S" in a wreath on the front. John Coney was unquestionably one of the giants of early American silver; in quality, quantity, and variety, his work in silver is unsurpassed, and some consider him as the preeminent goldsmith of the colonial era. Born in Boston (his father was the blacksmith, John Coney), Coney was apprenticed at age fourteen to the master silversmith, Jeremiah Dummer. On his own, Coney created artistic and ambitious pieces of silver, including sugar boxes, monteiths, and inkstands. The tankard has a low flat cover, low molded base bands, scrolled thumb piece and handle terminating in a cherub mask. This tankard was one of 92 pieces in the Watson-Crichton Collection (Watson #1), acquired by the Flynts in 1954 from Victor A. Watson (1897-1974), son-in-law and partner of Lionel Alfred Crichton (1866-1938), a retail silversmith and dealer in antique plate with shops in London, New York City and Chicago. Crichton, who was considered one of Britain's most prominent silver dealers of the early 20th century, started collecting American colonial silver for his own personal interest after WWI; the Watsons refused to sell the collection until meeting the Flynts. American silver found in England with English family heirlooms has been called "loyalist silver," since many pieces came to England with returning loyalists; however, this broadly-used term does not allow for pieces sent as gifts and taken over later. Wgt. 25 ozs., 6 dwts.

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