New England Silver & Silversmithing 1620-1815
Edited by: Jeannine Falino and Gerald W. R. Ward
Publisher/Date: Colonial Society of Massachusetts/University of Virginia Press, 2001 t.p. (c. 2001) First Edition.
Format/Condition: New blue cloth hardcover book with dust jacket in Fine condition. 282 pages, index; 8 x 11 x 1.3 inches. Illustrated in black-and-white.
Description: New England, especially Boston, was a center of the silversmith's art and craft in early America. In this volume, eleven distinguished scholars from museums and universities examine the styles, forms, and functions of silver from the time of John Hull and Robert Sanderson in the mid-seventeenth century through the career of Paul Revere in the federal period.
Among the diverse topics considered are the etiquette connected with the use of silver tobacco, snuff, and patch boxes, and the social significance of Boston's rare silver chocolate pots. An analysis of the narrative hunting scenes and other imagery on Boston rococo silver reveals much about early patterns of courtship and social interaction. A close study of John Singleton Copley's portrait of Paul Revere and Revere's Sons of Liberty bowl provides fresh insights into these icons of Americana, while a statistical analysis of Revere's patrons sheds new light on the career of this famous craftsman. Two essays discuss the profound significance of silver objects within New England's ecclesiastical history, and another documents the use of silver at Harvard College in its early days. A biography of Samuel Bartlett, a Concord silversmith, and a survey of silver on the early Maine frontier suggest the importance of regional studies, writ both small and large.
These essays, based on presentations made at a conference cosponsored by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, are published here in revised and expanded form. As a whole, they provide for an understanding of silver objects as part of New England's material world and as reflections of the attitudes and values of their makers and users.
Contributors: Richard Lyman Bushman, Columbia University; Edwin A. Churchill, Maine State Museum; Madeleine Siefke Estill, Ithaca, New York; Jonathan L. Fairbanks, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Jeannine Falino, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Patricia E. Kane, Yale University Art Gallery; Karen Parsons, Loomis Chaffee School; Janine E. Skerry, Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia; John W. Tyler, Colonial Society of Massachusetts; Barbara McLean Ward, Museum Studies Program, Tufts University; Gerald W. R. Ward, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; David F. Wood, Concord Museum, Concord, Massachusetts.