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Maker(s):Richardson Sr., Joseph (attributed)
Culture:American (1711-1784)
Date Made:mid 18th century
Type:Food Service
Place Made:United States; Pennsylvania; Philadelphia (attributed)
Measurements:overall: 2 1/4 in x 8 1/4 in x 5 1/4 in; 5.7 cm x 21 cm x 13.3 cm
Accession Number:  HD 54.484
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield

Silver porringer marked "IR" in roman letters in a rectangle under the handle attributed to Joseph Richardson, Sr. (1711-1784), and engraved with the initials "W*C" on the pierced handle; "WC to GM / 1846" in foliate script on one side; and "To my esteemed Friend Dr. Rush from Thomas Paine 1775" around the rim. Benjamin Rush (1745-1813), a physician and philanthropist, was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and Thomas Paine (1737-1809) was an influencial political writer best known for "The Rights of Man" and "The Age of Reason." However, this porringer may be a fake: the handle, which appears to be of an earlier style than the bowl, may have been "married" to the bowl; the Rush-Paine inscription may have been added at a later date to make the porringer more desirable to a collector; and the handle engraving is not consistent with the 19th century-style foliate initials on the side. This porringer was one of 92 pieces in the Watson-Crichton Collection (Watson #39), 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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