Paul Revere Jr. Silver Tablespoon
Boston, circa 1784
The handle engraved with bright cut and wriggle work decoration and a crest of a boar's head couped, pierced by an arrow, the reverse later engraved D/R*M, marked on reverse (Kane mark B). Length 8 3/4 inches, approximately 2 ounces.
George Spooner (1746-1826)
Likely Dr. William Spooner (1760-1830), nephew, or William Heath Spooner (1798-1871), grandnephew of George Spooner
Miss Caroline Elizabeth Spooner (1826-1913), daughter of William Heath Spooner
Miss Kate C. Henderson (b. 1860- d. c. 1940), niece
Ruth Van Buren Hugo Day (1862-1964)
Monroe and Elizabeth Dreher Collection, January 1958, $320 for the pair
The crest is that of Spooner, for George Spooner (1746-1826), Boston.
George Spooner (1746-1826) appears in the Revere daybooks in 1784 and 1785 with orders for silver and various credits for gold and silver. These tablespoons descended within the Spooner family of Boston to Miss Kate Handerson (d. c. 1940).
The Spooners were a wealthy Boston merchant family. George's father, John Spooner (1696-1763), traded in pitch, tar, metals, fabrics and furs. George's brother, John Jr., inherited the bulk of the estate, while brothers George, William, Joshua and James Spooner received separate bequests of £4,000 each.
As the revolution approached, the family members espoused varying political sympathies. George and William are recorded as attending a Sons of Liberty dinner in 1769, while brother John, who married into the Tory Oliver family, fled Boston for London in 1768. Perhaps the most noted member of the Spooner family was George's brother Joshua; his wife, Bathsheba, plotted and orchestrated Joshua's murder in 1778. The sensational trial (which was the first capital case of the United States) and the subsequent execution of Bathsheba, has been extensively covered and revisited, recently by the author Deborah Navas in Murdered by His Wife, 1999.
The engraved heraldic crest of a boar's head pierced by an arrow is that of Spooner. Bolton's An American Armory cites two bookplates with this crest, both belonging to George Spooner's brothers. One bookplate dates from 1782 and belonged to John J. Spooner and the other, engraved by Nathaniel Hurd, belonged to Joshua Spooner. A spoon with this engraved crest is illustrated in Kathryn Buhler, Paul Revere Goldsmith, 1735-1818, 1956, illus. 40.
In 1915, the Revere spoons left the Spooner family when Miss Handerson gave the spoons to her friend, Boston-born Ruth Van Buren Hugo (1892-1964), as a wedding gift. The later initials, D/R*M are those of Ruth Day who married Morgan Glover Day of Springfield, MA in 1915. In 1935, Mrs. Day traveled to Shanghai, and her detailed recollections are captured in Shanghai 1935: An American Lady's Account of the City and its High-Society.
The four entries for George Spooner in Revere's daybooks are credits for gold and silver and an order for teaspoons and a cream pot. The entry for 25 October 1784 cites "Mr. George Spooner Cr. By Silver & Gold to make spoons 4 9 4". This credit likely relates to these table spoons, which were probably ordered as a set of six. In addition to the current pair of spoons, four other spoons are known (see Patricia Kane, Colonial Massachusetts Silversmiths and Jewelers, 1998, p. 830). Those four spoons were formerly in the collection of Philip Leffingwell Spaulding. Two were donated to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 1942 (42.534-5); the other two sold at Sotheby's, 24-26 January 1974. One spoon, presumably one from the Sotheby's sale, sold at Skinner's, Boston, 12 April 2021, lot 1510.
See lot xx in the sale for another Revere tablespoon engraved with the Spooner crest.
C Property from The Monroe and Elizabeth Dreher Collection
Additional Notes & Condition Report
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