January 19, 09:11 PM GMT
20,000 - 30,000 USD
American Silver Large Tankard
Simeon Soumaine, New York
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.
Height: 7 1/8 inches
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.