An American Silver Small Tankard, Johannis Nys, Philadelphia, dated 1716

Lot Closed

January 22, 06:02 PM GMT


10,000 - 15,000 USD

Lot Details


An American Silver Small Tankard, Johannis Nys, Philadelphia, dated 1716

tapered cylindrical, applied with cut-card work above molded baseband, flat domed cover with shaped front lip, cocoon thumbpiece, scroll handle engraved SP flanking a tulip, shield-form terminal, the base with presentation inscription, scratch weight, and later family history

marked twice on body right of handle and three times on cover near thumbpiece

14 oz 5 dwt

448 g

height 5 5/8 in

14.3 cm

Susannah Painter
Susannah Cox (1808)
M. S. Paul (1890)
Walter M. Jeffords
Mr. and Mrs. Walter M. Jeffords, Jr., sold
Sotheby's New York, Oct. 28-29, 2004, lot 654
Boston 1956: The Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Colonial Silversmiths: Masters & Apprentices, 1956, no. 303, p. 93
Philadelphia 1956: The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia Silver, 1682-1800. April 14-May 27, 1956, no. 304

The base reads: Susannah Painter's. Given her by her Father Geo: Painter. / Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred and Sixteen. / Susanna Cox 1808. / M.S. Paul 1890. / 15oz=6ptAccording to a letter from John Marshall Phillips to Walter M. Jeffords, September 10, 1941, "did you know Susanna Painter whose little tankard by Nys you have was the granddaughter of Caleb Pusey of Chester whose daughter Lydia married George Painter?"

Caleb Pusey emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1682, and his stone house in Upland, Chester County, is the earliest surviving Anglo-American residence in Pennsylvania. Pusey, with partners William Penn and Samuel Carpenter, established the first grist- and sawmill in the Delaware Valley; the weathervane from this mill, with the partners' initials, is in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (Worldly Goods, no. 295).

Johannis Nys (c. 1671-1734) was a French Huguenot who trained in New York. He married there in 1693 and appears on tax lists in 1695.  He moved to Philadelphia by 1698; only Caesar Ghiselin was established earlier. Nys' clientele was the elite of Philadelphia, including William Penn, James Logan, Andrew Hamilton, and Anthony Morris. He had an active professional relationship with Francis Richardson, who may have apprenticed with him. In 1723, he retired to Kent County, Delaware.