Social New York under the Georges, 1714-1776: Houses, Streets, and Country Homes, with Chapters on Fashions, Furniture, China, Plate, and Manners

By Esther Singleton | Go to book overview

II
PLATE, TANKARDS, PUNCH BOWLS AND CANDLESTICKS

WROUGHT silver was always highly prized. From the first settlement of this country, every prosperous householder possessed pieces of plate. In New York, before 1700, examples occur in numerous inventories of English, Dutch and French homes. Thomas Eaton in 1668, bequeathed to Mrs. Abigail Nicolls, "my silver boat, my silver meat fork, and a silver spoon." George Cook's silver, in 1679, was worth £40. John Sharpe, in 1681, owned 730 oz. of silver plate valued at £219.

At that date, wrought silver was worth six shillings and eightpence an ounce. It may be mentioned here that its value averaged about seven shillings an ounce for the next two hundred years. Col. Lewis Morris ( 1691), had 900 oz. of silver plate, which at 6 sh. 9d. per oz. came to £303-15.0. Five years later, 185 oz. belonging to Margarita Van Varick was valued at 7 sh. 9d per oz. Besides this 185 oz., which was probably in the form of cups, beakers, salvers, etc., she had a lot of miscellaneous articles in silver.

These comprised two pairs of scissors, two brushes lined with silver, a spice-box, an egg-dish, a thimble, a wrought East India box, a small knife and fork, three wrought East Indian cups, two wrought East Indian dishes, two knives, five wrought East Indian

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Social New York under the Georges, 1714-1776: Houses, Streets, and Country Homes, with Chapters on Fashions, Furniture, China, Plate, and Manners
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