• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2004

    Important English, Continental and American Silver

    22 May 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 270

    A PAIR OF AMERICAN SILVER SALT CELLARS

    MARK OF JOHN MOULINAR, NEW YORK, CIRCA 1760

    Price Realised  

    A PAIR OF AMERICAN SILVER SALT CELLARS
    MARK OF JOHN MOULINAR, NEW YORK, CIRCA 1760
    Each cauldron form, on three pad feet with shell joins, the bowl with ruffled gadrooned border, the base engraved M over INB, each marked under base, together with two salt spoons, Shepherd & Boyd, Albany, circa 1815, fiddle pattern, the stem engraved Bloodgood, each marked on reverse
    3 in. (7.6 cm.) diameter; 6 oz. 10 dwt. (206 gr.) (4)


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    John Nicholas Bleecker was an aggressive leader during the Revolutionary years in Albany and assumed an important role after the capture of Fort Ticonderoga, helping to transport British weaponry to Boston in the winter of 1775 in order to fortify the Colonists in the final siege of Boston.

    Albany was a vital hub of Revolutionary activity, in many ways expediting the process and legitimacy of Colonial opposition to the Crown. The city was the seat of the Albany Conference in 1754, where Benjamin Franklin was among those who drafted the Albany Plan of Union, precursor to the Declaration of Independence.

    From that date, Bleecker and other principals of Albany society began actively contributing to the Revolutionary movement. Early in the 1760s, Bleecker became a contractor with the municipal government of Albany, known as the Albany Corporation, which was largely in favor of independence. Bleecker was first made Alderman to the Albany Corporation in 1767, a deputy mayor role to which it seems he was re-elected for several years. With the Intolerable Acts in 1774, the city was emboldened, founding the Committee of Correspondence, a group designed to act on behalf of the growing Revolutionary impulse in the region. Bleecker was nominated to the Committee, which worked to promote the rights of the Colonists in accordance with the movements of the Continental Conferences.

    When the War began, Bleecker was made Assistant Deputy Commissary General of store and provisions in New York. After the Green Mountain Boys captured Fort Ticonderoga in 1775, Bleecker was instrumental in the transfer of canons and gunpowder from the abandoned fort to Boston. The supplies were carried 300 miles during the winter of 1775, arriving in time to reinforce the final attacks on the British territory in Boston in the spring of 1776.

    Bleecker's contributions to the Revolution were rewarded by the state with an allocation of land bounty rights. After the war, he continued to serve in the city government, acting as City and County Treasurer, as well as Clerk of the Board of Supervisors. He lived until 1825, and raised eight children with his wife, Margaret Van Deusen Bleecker.

    For more information see: The John N. Bleecker Papers, 1700-1870, at the New York State Library and The Colonial Albany Social History Project, directed by Stephan Bielinski, The New York State Museum

    Provenance

    John Nicholas Bleecker (1739-1825), of Albany and Margaret Van Deusen, married circa 1775
    Margaret Bleecker (1776-1878), daughter, married Col. John Van Schaick (1776-1820) of Albany
    Elisa Van Schaick, daughter, married Simeon de Witt Bloodgood
    Robert Fanshaw Bloodgood, son, married Elise Pirson
    John Van Schaick Bloodgood, son, married distinguished equestrian and author Lida Louise Fleitmann
    Lida Lacey Bloodgood, daughter, married HSH Prince Dominick Radziwill in 1948
    HSH Princess Marie-Louise Radziwill, daughter, sculptress


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY OF HSH PRINCESS MARIE-LOUISE RADZIWILL