Lot 4011
  • 4011

An American silver tea caddy, sugar basket and set of four tablespoons, Asa Blanchard, Dumfries, VA, circa 1800

8,000 - 12,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • marked on bases of caddy and basket four times, once on each handle, and twice on backs of spoon handles with A[pellet]B in shaped rectangle
  • silver
  • length of caddy 5 1/8 in.
  • 13 cm
all engraved with foliate initial H, the tea caddy and sugar basket both with swing handle, the loose cover with acorn finial


Alexander Henderson (1738-1815), Dumfries, VA, by descent;
Alexander Henderson, by descent;
George Washington Henderson, by descent;
Arthur Taylor Henderson, by descent;
Constance Henderson Hoblitzell, by descent;
Constance H. Michael

Catalogue Note

The engraved initial is for Alexander Henderson, a Colonial merchant who moved from Glasgow, Scotland to Colchester, Virginia in 1756. He later moved to Dumfries, VA in 1787, where his house still stands. There Henderson established a successful store and expanded to include branch stores in Colchester, Occoquan and Alexandria, making him the founder of the chain store in America. 

Henderson also served as vestryman at Pohick Church, magistrate of Fairfax and Prince William Counties, member of House of Burgess, member of the Virginia General Assembly, and Virginia Delegate to Mt. Vernon Conference in 1785, which decided the boundary lines that still exist today between Maryland and Virginia and set a precedent for discussions into areas of mutual concern between states. Through his political work, Henderson became acquainted with such figures as Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Mason and George Washington. It was on the advice of George Washington that Henderson bought 25,000 acres in western Virginia.

Henderson and his wife Sara had ten children, one of which was Archibald Henderson (1783-1859). Archibald was the fifth and longest-serving commandant of the Marine Corps, serving for over 38 years.

Asa Blanchard (Blancett, Blansett) is best known as a Kentucky silversmith working in Lexington from 1806-38. However, between 1789-1806, he established his first workshop in his hometown of Dumfries, VA after returning from Philadelphia and New York, where he honed his skills. He made flatware and hollowware for some of the best families of Prince William and nearby counties. His Virginia silver all bear the "AB" or "A.BLANSETT" hallmarks.