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Very Rare Tablespoon by Peter Vergereau of New York, Circa 1730-40

Very Rare Tablespoon by Peter Vergereau of New York, Circa 1730-40
click for more pictures for item 20180204-06

Offered is a lovely and very early American coin silver table spoon by New York silversmith Peter Vergereau. According to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts:

"Peter Vergereau is probably the individual born into New York City’s French community and baptised at the Église Françoise à la Nouvelle York on August 21, 1700. He was granted freeman status in 1721, which would have been the logical time for him to begin practicing his craft after an average apprenticeship. Vergereau was married in 1737, rather late in life, to Susana(h) Boudinot, sister of silversmith Elias Boudinot (1706 – 1770).1 Although his career lasted for some thirty years, few works bearing his mark are known. Nevertheless, this small body of silver proves that he was a talented silversmith and engraver who made forms ranging from tablespoons to tankards and including salvers, saucepans, and [a] commodious bowl."

This spoon has two strikes of one of the maker's marks used by Mr. Vergereau (mark (b) in Belden); this piece is also decorated with a period engraved block initial monogram of "ISR". Interestingly, there are two tablespoons at Winterthur with this monogram, one of which is slightly less worn and has Belden mark (a), and the other of which is about the same wear as this spoon and with the same monogram and same mark (b) struck twice. Both spoons have been at Winterthur since 1962, a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred E. Bissell. Those tablespoons can be viewed here:

This piece has well-struck and clear maker's marks and the monogram is less worn than either of those at Winterthur. It measures about 7 5/8 inches in length and weighs about 55 grams. Condition is fair with quite a bit of tip wear and some scratching to an area of the back of the bowl on one side (see pics), but given the age and rarity, it is a very desirable object, with good marks. All in all a fine piece of early New York silver, approaching three hundred years old!

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