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    Sale 2132

    Important American Silver

    23 January 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 103

    A SILVER TANKARD

    MARK OF ELIAS PELLETREAU, SOUTHAMPTON, NEW YORK, CIRCA 1761

    Price Realised  

    A SILVER TANKARD
    MARK OF ELIAS PELLETREAU, SOUTHAMPTON, NEW YORK, CIRCA 1761
    Tapering cylindrical, with molded border at the base, the scroll handle with applied drop, circular terminal and scroll thumbpiece, the hinged cover with crenelated lip and engraved on cover with the mirror cypher RF inside a reserve, with later inscription engraved under base, marked twice on body near handle
    6 7/8 in. high; 29 oz.


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    The mirror cipher RF is that of Ruth Floyd, who married Nathaniel Woodhull (1722-1776) in 1761. An entry in Elias Pelletreau's Account Book 2, p. 34, dated February 1762, lists a tankard made for Nathaniel Woodhull, of 30 oz-3 pt-12 gr, and with charges for the fashioning at 2/6 per ounce and "Ingraving ye Sipher" for 6 shillings. The order also included a pepper box, milk pot and teapot, among other objects. It is likely that this commission constituted Woodhull's wedding silver.

    A Pelletreau tankard of similar form, circa 1760, probably made for Captain William Hallock of Suffolk County sold in these Rooms, 23 May 2007, lot 234. Another Pelletreau tankard, 1791, made for John Lyon Gardiner (1770-1816) sold in these Rooms, 21 January 2005, lot 143.

    Provenance

    Nathaniel Woodhull (1722-1776) and Ruth Floyd, m. 1761
    Elizabeth Woodhull (1762-1839), daughter, m. Henry Nicoll (1755-1790) Ann Taylor Nicoll (b. c. 1794), niece, m. James Clinch (1793-c.1880) Sarah Nicoll Clinch (1823-1890), daughter, m. Judge John Lawrence Smith (1816-1889)
    Elizabeth (Bessie) Springs Smith (1862-1950), daughter, m. Stanford White (1853-1906)
    Thence by descent to the present owner, Stanford White's great grandson



    The Woodhull (Suffolk County) and Floyd (Brookhaven, Long Island, South Shore) families were significant in Colonial politics. Nathaniel Woodhull was a president of the New York Provincial Congress and a Brigadier General in the Revolutionary War. Ruth Floyd's brother, William Floyd (1734-1821) was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

    This tankard descended through the family from Nathaniel Woodhull and Ruth Floyd to the present owner. Among its owners were Elizabeth Springs Smith (1852-1950) and her husband the famous architect Stanford White (1853-1906), of McKim, Mead & White. White collaborated on such buildings as the Boston Public Library (1887-1895), The University Club (New York, 1900), Morgan Library (New York, 1906), and Pennsylvania Station (New York, 1910).


    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY OF SEBASTIAN WHITE


    Post Lot Text

    Caption1:
    Elias Pelletreau Account Book 1759-1775
    Courtesy of the East Hampton Library, Long Island Collection

    Caption2:
    Lot 103 cypher