A rare American silver tankard, Koenraet Ten Eyck, Albany, NY, circa 1710
- marked on cover near thumbpiece K TE (conjoined)
Estate of Philip Wendell Birdseye, 1962
Mr. and Mrs. Ledyard Cogswell, Albany, NY
This tankard is one of the few extant pieces by Koenraet Ten Eyck, one of the earliest known silversmiths working in Albany between 1678 and 1753. It is likely that he apprenticed in New York City, as his work features distinctive New York characteristics, many of which can be found on this tankard: the applied lion and cherub on the handle, the cut-card and meander wire around the base, and the inset coin in the cover. The coin is a silver half écu from the Paris mint and dates from 1690-93. Ten Eyck married Geertje Van Schaik in 1704, and two of their sons, Jacob and Barent, also became silversmiths.
There are only sixteen other known objects by Koenraet Ten Eyck, including two other tankards. The first was made for Johannes Henricus Lidius, a prominent Albany fur-trader, and his French-Indian wife, Genevieve Masse. It is slightly smaller and lacks a coin in the cover. The second was a previously unrecorded tankard that sold Christie's, New York, January 16, 2003, lot 128. Made to commemorate the marriage of Abraham Witbeck of Rensselaerwyck and his wife (H)Anna Van Deusen of Albany in 1728, it is very similar in decoration to the present tankard.