Search Results:

<< Viewing Record 182 of 1194 >>
View : Light Box | List View | Image List | Detailed

Maker(s):Pierce, Samuel
Culture:American (1767-1840)
Date Made:late 18th century
Type:Metalworking Tool
Materials:base metal: steel
Place Made:United States; Massachusetts; Greenfield or Connecticut; Middletown
Measurements:overall: 6 in x 1 1/8 in; 15.24 cm x 2.85496 cm
Accession Number:  HD 1536
Credit Line:Loughlin Collection
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield

Steel die attributed to Samuel Pierce (1767-1840), which is the only known surviving touchmark of an American pewterer. Born in Middletown, Samuel Pierce was apprenticed to the Danforths, a well-known family of pewterers in Middletown, probably mostly with Joseph Danforth (1758-1788). Pierce completed his training about 1789 and married Anne Joyce (1769-1843) in 1790; he moved his family to Greenfield in 1792 or early 1793, where he had began to work for Col. William Moore (b.1762), a successful Greenfield businessman, in his mill, and made pewter and other white metal products on his own account. By 1799, Pierce was in partnership with blacksmith Ambrose Ames shipping commodities on the river; however, after an outbreak of dysentary in Greefield in 1802 killed three of their five children, the Pierces moved to Colrain, Massachusetts, where he titled himself as a cooper in a deed of 1804 and mainly farmed until returning to Greenfield about 1807. He then went into partnership with merchant Hart Leavitt (1765-1836) as Pierce & Leavitt, and by 1810, was the 6th most prominent men in Greenfield. After President Thomas Jefferson's Trade Embargo in 1807 and the War of 1812 destroyed New England's commerce, Pierce went back to the forge and again he was succesful as a whitesmith, selling a wide range of pewter, tin and lead products. In 1821, Samuel turned the business over to his son John Joyce Pierce (1793-1878) although Samuel's accounts show that he continued to work in metals into the ealy 1830s. According to Philip Zea (2/3/2010), probably most of Pierce's own commerical pewter production found in HD's collection can be dated between 1795-1810.

Link to share this object record:

Research on objects in the collections, including provenance, is ongoing and may be incomplete. If you have additional information or would like to learn more about a particular object, please email

<< Viewing Record 182 of 1194 >>