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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
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Maker(s):Webb, Edward
Culture:American (c.1666-1718)
Title:spoon
Date Made:ca. 1710
Type:Food Service
Materials:silver
Place Made:United States; Massachusetts; Boston
Measurements:overall: 7 1/2 in.; 19.05 cm
Accession Number:  HD 54.451
Credit Line:Mrs. Helen Geier Flynt
1954-451t.jpg

Description:
Silver trefid spoon marked "EW" in roman letters in a rectangle struck once on the back of the handle for Edward Webb (c.1666-1718), and engraved with the initials "H / LM" over a coat of arms arms of a "fess gules in chief 2 spear heads points down, and crest, a horse's head emerging from a crown."on the back of the upturned tri-lobed handle. The wide oval bowl has a swage-formed rattail flanked by converging ridges and stamped foliate relief decoration. The arms may be a variant of the Arnold family arms, described by Bolton: "Gu 3 pheons in a chief or a bar nebulee of the 2d, implated on a bookplate of Lieut. Col. Pownoll Phipps of St. Kitts (1780-1858) who married Sophia Matilda, the only daughter of Gen. Benedict Arnold of Conn. Webb, who apprenticed to William Denny, a London goldsmith, in 1680, may have been in Boston by 1706, but definitely by 1709. In this period, spoons were placed facedown on the table so that initials were placed on the back. There are identical spoons in American collections with the same initials but no arms; it is possible that original engraving was removed and these arms added. This spoon, which was originally identified as being made by Edward Winslow (1669-1753) of Boston, was one of 92 pieces in the Watson-Crichton Collection (Watson #2), 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.

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