American Silver Large Tankard, Simeon Soumaine, New York, Circa 1710

Auction Closed

January 19, 09:11 PM GMT


20,000 - 30,000 USD

Lot Details


American Silver Large Tankard

Simeon Soumaine, New York

Circa 1710

Lightly tapered cylindrical, engraved with contemporary arms in elaborate scrolling mantle, the cover inset with a Queen Anne silver coin within engraved wreath, cut-card baseband above wrigglework border, scroll handle applied with a swag of fruit hanging from a mask and terminating in shield with applied putto head, cocoon thumbpiece, marked S.S on each side of handle.

33 oz

1026 g

Height: 7 1/8 inches

18 cm

Richard Ashfield and Isabella Morris
Mrs. William E. Green (1938), to her son
John Green, Trenton, N.J.
Purchased by Walter Jeffords Jan/Feb. 1941
The Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Walter M. Jeffords, sold
Sotheby's New York, October 29, 2004, lot 732
New York: Museum of the City of New York, 1938. Silver by New York Makers, V. Isabelle Miller (curator), no. 287, illus.
The Ashfield arms on this tankard are believed to be for New York merchant and New Jersey landowner Richard Ashfield (1695-1742) and his wife Isabella Morris (1710 - 1741), whom he married in 1723.  His will, dated August 19, 1732, sets out:

In the name of God, Amen. I, Richard Ashfield, of New York, merchant, being sick. I leave all my lands and tenements in Essex County, New Jersey, "known by a draft thereof in 13 Lots," to my children, Lewis Morris Ashfield, Richard Morris Ashfield, Mary Ashfield, and Isabella Ashfield.  I leave to my son, Lewis Morris Ashfield, a parcel of land in Perth Amboy, near the house of John Hamilton, Esq., where he now lives.  I leave to my two sons, 24 acres of land in Perth Amboy.  All the rest of my lands and tenements in New York and New Jersey I leave to my brother-in-law, Robert Hunter Morris, Gent., and Henry Coertens, of New York, mariner, In Trust, to sell, and the money to be paid to my wife and four children.  I leave to my wife Isabella, all household goods and plate, and make her executor.

In the end he was predeceased by his wife, the sixth daughter of Lewis Morris (1671-1746), Chief Justice of New York, Governor of New Jersey, and first lord of the manor of Morrisania, and his wife Isabella Graham.  Richard Ashfield's brother-in-law and executor Robert Hunter Morris (1700-1764) also served as chief justice.

The coin is a crown piece of Queen Anne, struck in 1707.  While perhaps a coincidence, 1707 was when Lewis Morris was elected to the New Jersey assembly and wrote (with Samuel Jennings) a formal protest to Queen Anne about the conduct of Lord Cornbury, then Governor of New York and New Jersey; this protest was largely responsible for Cornbury's being removed from office.

Marshall Davidson has shown (Davidson 1940) that the model for this mask and fruit pendant comes from late 17th century bronze furniture mounts, showing a cabinet mount in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs and a sketch of a similar mount on a clock by Fromanteel.  Soumaine used this mount on a tankard with a Van Horne family provenance, now in the Metropolitan Museum, with a similar thumbpiece, cut-card work, and meander wire (Safford 1983 p. 28).  A shorter version with just the fruit pendant appears on the handle of the Tiebout tankard by Soumaine, formerly in the Mr. and Mrs. Eddy G. Nicholson collection and a New York private collection; this also has a similar cherub-mask handle terminal.