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Maker(s):Kierstede, Cornelius
Culture:American (1674/75-c.1757)
Date Made:1700-1720
Type:Food Service
Place Made:United States; New York; New York City
Measurements:overall: 6 3/4 in; 17.1 cm
Accession Number:  HD 69.0201
Credit Line:Museum purchase
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield

Silver tankards served the New York Dutch community both functionally and symbolically. When embellished with coats of arms and family initials, such drinking vessels symbolized family union, fidelity, and continuity. Popular as wedding presents, tankards were subsequently used on other ceremonial occasions, such as the birth of a child. Tankards made in New York retained the broad stance, straight tapered body, and flat cover of late 17th century English tankards. However, the ornament used to embellish New York tankards was hybrid, marrying Dutch, French Huguenot, and English designs. Silver tankard with a raised circular one-step cover with a flat top, cast cocoon thumbpiece, and two-step molded rim; straight tapered sides; the remains of a stamped foliate cut-card band around the base; and a raised and soldered hollow S-curve handle with a terminal with a cast cherub's head applied to a shaped shield and an applied leaf-like form below the hinge. The tankard is marked "CK" in roman letters in a rectangle to the left of the handle for Cornelius Kierstede (1674/75-c.1757), and engraved with the initials "IK" on the handle. The tankard was in the family of Theodore Saiesbury Woolsey (1852-1929), the son of Theodore Dwight Woolsey, then president of Yale College, and Elizabeth Martha Salisbury Woolsey, who graduated from Yale College in 1872 and Yale Law School in 1872, and later became Professor of Law at Yale. He married Annie Gardner of Boston in 1877 and had two sons. According to the dealer, Harry Aarons Antiques of Bridgeport, Connecticut, the tankard went to his son, Heathcote Muirson Woolsey (1884-1957) who married Dorothy Buckingham Bacon (1885-1965), and then to Ethel W. Walker (?) of Kent, Conn. The family was descended from both early New York and New England families, but there is no information when the family originally acquired the tankard. The Worcester Art Museum has a portrait of Samuel Salisbury by Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828), of which his son Josiah Salisbury had Stuart make a replica in 1824. Footnote #44 in the description of the original Stuart portrait notes that Josiah's portrait of Samuel Salisbury was inherited by his widow Abby Breese Salisbury, who died in New Haven in 1866. Her will, written in 1855, bequeathed the portrait to her grandson Theodore Salisbury Woolsey (1852–1929) of New Haven. At his death, the portrait passed to his son Heathcote Muirson Woolsey and then to his wife, Dorothy, until her death in 1962. It then passed to her son Theodore D. Woolsey of Bethesda, Md., and then to his wife, Adele H. Woolsey. The portrait is now in the possession of her son Timothy D. Woolsey.

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