A nearly identical cake basket with the maker's mark of Van Voorhis & Schanck sold in these Rooms, January 27, 1995, lot 618, from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Eddy Nicholson.
The engraved and pierced ornament of the present cake basket and the cake basket from the Nicholson sale appear to have been worked by the same hand. This suggests there was a silversmith who specialized in this type of work, supplying his wares to New York City silver trade.
American eighteenth century cake baskets are extremely rare and appear to have been made only in New York City. There are only five other known eighteenth century examples: a rococo basket by Daniel Christian Feuter at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; another rococo basket by Myer Myers at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a neoclassical example by Alexander Gordon (American Art from American Collections, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1963, illus. 126); another neoclassical example by Simeon Bayley at the Museum of the City of New York; and the Van Voorhis & Schanck example cited above. The Bayley basket is similar to Dodge and Van Voorhis & Schanck baskets in its octagonal shape and piercing (illustrated in V. Isabelle Miller, Silver by New York Makers, 1938, no. 21, p. 45).
[CAPTION] Detail of mark (lot 72)