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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst

 


Maker(s):Vernon, Samuel
Culture:American (1683-1737)
Title:spout cup
Date Made:1715-1725
Type:Food Service
Materials:silver
Place Made:United States; Rhode Island; Newport
Measurements:overall: 2 7/16 x 4 1/16 x 2 13/16 in.; 6.1913 x 10.3188 x 7.1438 cm
Accession Number:  HD 54.480

Description:
Silver spout cup with a handle marked "SV" with a device between the letters in a rectangle four times on the base for by Samuel Vernon (1683-1737); and with the initials "C / AI" on the base and "WR" (probably later) on the side. A spout cup was usually a covered cup with a handle at right angles to the long thin spout, which is described by Beth Wees as a form used in the 17th and early 18th centuries for drinking curdled beverages such as posset or syllabub. The low-based spout would allow the drinker to partake only of the liquid that settled below the thick curdled layer. Although common at the time, few English spout cups survive; those that do are generally fitted with silver rather than wooden handles. They are somewhat more common in American silver, particularly in New England. It has also been suggested that vessels of this design were used as cruets for oil and vinegar. This cup was probably converted to a spout cup at a later date by adding the spout. This cup was one of 92 pieces in the Watson-Crichton Collection (Watson #34), 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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