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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
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Maker(s):LeRoux, Bartholomew
Culture:American (c.1665-1713)
Title:sucket forks
Date Made:ca. 1710
Type:Food Service
Materials:silver
Place Made:United States; New York; New York City
Measurements:overall: two - 4 3/4 in; 12.065 cm; two- 4 1/4 in
Accession Number:  HD 61.451
1961-451_front.jpg

Description:
Set of four silver sucket forks with oval, rat-tail bowls opposite short, two-tined forks, of which three of the four are marked "BR" in an oval on the back of the shafts for Bartholomew LeRoux (c.1665-1713), and engraved with the initials “G.S” on the handles of all four and “P/EL” on the backs of two forks. In 1714, Gertrude Schuyler (1694-1774), the daughter of Colonel Pieter Philipse Schuyler (1657-1723/24), the first Mayor of Albany, NY, and Maria Van Rensselaer (1673-1723-24) of Albany. In 1714, Gertrude Schuyler married Johannes Lansing (b.1687) of Albany. They had seven children including Peter Lansing (1721-1807), who married Elizabeth Wendell (1723-1801) about 1745. While these forks appear to form a set of four, several of them may have been made to replace damaged or lost originals since the initials are those of members of the prominent Schuyler and Lansing families of Albany. Only a dozen or so American made sucket forks are known, and this set of four is unique. Sucket forks were used to eat wet and dry sweetmeats served during dessert. The fork would stab preserved fruits in syrup, and the spoon would be used to eat the syrup or spoon up another kind of wet sweetmeat such as a syllabub or jelly. Although sweetmeats were popular in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, the fashion for sucket forks was short-lived and few of them have survived. The tips of the spoon bowls are worn away on account of the softness of silver and their heavy use.

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