Marquand and Co. Pair of Antique Coin Silver Gravy Boats, NYC, NY, 1833-39
The bodies of these exquisite sauce boats are referred to as helmet-formed because they resemble the shape of inverted Roman helmets. The large bodies are attached to oval, stepped pedestal bases with bands of water-leaves at the rim. Similar smaller banding ornaments the gracefully curved borders of the bodies.
Enhancing the simple elegance of the bodies are the magnificent handles that incorporate beautiful foliate ornamentation. One side is engraved with an original 'W' initial. These gravy boats are exquisite, and finding a pair is exceedingly rare.
Frederick Marquand's father, Isaac, was a Connecticut silversmith who moved to New York City about 1804. In 1820, Frederick and his cousin Josiah Penfield established a retail jewelry firm in Savannah, GA, that lasted until 1824. In the mid-1820s, he took over his father's New York business at 166 Broadway. Frederick worked as the senior partner in a couple of namesake firms until bought out by former apprentices William Black & Henry Ball in 1839, creating the very famous Ball, Black & Co. jewelry firm. (1)
It is unclear how much silver the Marquand firm ever actually made. While Isaac was a working silversmith, Frederick's focus was as a retail merchant. An exciting tidbit appearing in Edward C. Moore's obituary in the Jeweler's Circular notes that his father, John C. Moore, was a "manufacturer of silverware for Marquand & Co, then considered the principal jewelers in the country." (2) Clearly, this was a long term relationship that continued longafter Marquand's departure - John C. Moore was the maker of the famous Collins Tea Service, shown by Ball, Black & Co. at the 1851 Crystal Palace Exposition in London.
These sauce boats could easily be the early work of John C. Moore's firm before Charles Tiffany enticed him into an exclusive relationship with Tiffany & Company. It is likely we will never know for sure.
These stunning and rare antique gravy boats are marked 'MARQUAND & CO' and measure 9.25 inches across the handles by 7.25 inches high to the top of the handles. They weigh a combined 34.35 troy ounces, are in excellent antique condition with minor (expected) wear to the surface.
Deborah Waters, ed., Elegant Plate: Three Centuries of Precious Metals in New York City, (New York: City Museum of New York, 2000), p. 370.
"Secretary Edward C. Moore, of Tiffany & Co., Expires.", in The Jeweler's Circular and Horological Review, August 5, 1891, p. 31.
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