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Obadiah Rich (likely) Jones, Ball & Poor Coin Silver Figural Gravy Boat, Boston, MA, 1848-51

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This beautiful sauce/ gravy boat is a magnificent example of Boston coin silver. The large, hand-raised body is decorated with a series of engraved cascading decoration going downwards from the applied band rim. The oval, pedestal base uses similar engraved decoration. The wonderful handle is of a sea creature with detailed scales and a tail wrapped around a scroll attaching to the base. One side of the body is engraved ''J.W.T. to Elisabeth Trull'.

Jones, Ball & Poor was Boston's leading jeweler during this period, the partnership ultimately becoming Shreve, Crump and Low in 1869. Silver bearing the Jones, Ball and Poor mark and the actual maker's marks on items sold by the firm is very uncommon. Boston items of the early 19th century are rarely found with makers marks on them. It was traditional with both silver and furniture for only the retailer to mark the item: this is why attributions of furniture and silver from this period can be so difficult.

While the Jones, Ball and Poor mark has traditionally been ascribed as a maker's mark (they claimed to make fine silver in city directories), it is often only a retail mark - usually seen without a makers mark. Obadiah Rich was one of their major suppliers and the likely maker of this piece.

This stunning and rare sauce boat is marked 'JONES, BALL & POOR/ BOSTON/PURE COIN.' The marks are poorly struck underneath. It measures 8.5 inches long across the handle and spout by 6.5 inches high. It weighs 14.50 troy ounces and is in excellent antique condition.