• Important American Furniture,  auction at Christies

    Sale 2287

    Important American Furniture, Folk Art, Silver & Chinese Export

    21 - 25 January 2010, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 79

    A RARE AND IMPORTANT SILVER TANKARD

    MARK OF ELIAS BOUDINOT, PHILADELPHIA, CIRCA 1742

    Price Realised  

    A RARE AND IMPORTANT SILVER TANKARD
    MARK OF ELIAS BOUDINOT, PHILADELPHIA, CIRCA 1742
    Of heavy gauge, tapering cylindrical, with a molded circular base, the scroll handle with scroll thumbpiece and terminal formed as a shield, the double domed cover with serrated border, the body engraved with the mirror cypher GAO within a cartouche, marked twice on shoulder, the base with scratch weight 32=18 oz.
    7¼ in. high; 32 oz. 10 dwt.


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    This tankard was most likely made to celebrate the marriage of George Okill (b.c. 1715) and Anne Clarke (c. 1715-1777) in 1742 in Christ Church and St. Peter's, Philadelphia. Their daughter, Jane, inherited the tankard. In 1775, Jane married Reverend John Stuart (1740-1811), a special missionary to the Mohawk Indians at Fort Hunter, New York. During the Revolution, the family moved to Canada. The tankard was then inherited by one of their sons, Sir James Stuart. Stuart had a distinguished legal career serving as Chief Justice of Lower Canada (1841-1853), a member of the Legislative Assembly, Chief Justice of the Court of Queen's Bench, and helping to frame the Act of Union of 1840. Stuart died without heirs and the baronetcy became extinct. In 1969, the tankard was discovered in a London vault where it had lain since 1908.

    Provenance

    George O'Kill (b.c. 1715) of Philadelphia, m. Anne Clarke (b.c. 1715) in 1742 Daughter, Jane O'Kill, m. Rev. John Stuart (1740-1811) in 1775, fleeing to Canada during the Revolution
    Son, Sir James Stuart, baronet
    With How of Edinburgh, London, 1970
    The Collection of the Late Richard G. Meech, Q.C., sold Sotheby's, New York, 28 January 1994, lot 618


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF MR. AND MRS. E.J. NUSRALA


    Literature

    David Conradsen, Useful Beauty: Early American Decorative Arts from St. Louis Collections, St. Louis Art Museum, 1999, cat. 36, p. 88-89
    Patricia Kane, "Living with Antiques: A St. Louis Couple Collects," The Magazine Antiques (May 2002), p. 113-114, pl. I, IV


    Exhibited

    St. Louis, St. Louis Art Museum, Useful Beauty: Early American Decorative Arts from St. Louis Collections, June-August 1999