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Object Name: Baptismal bowl
Date: ca. 1809
Related People:
Medium: Silver
Dimensions: Overall: 6 3/4 × 4 5/8 in., 12 oz (troy) 3.7 dwt (17.1 × 11.7 cm, 379 g)
Place made: North America, New York
Description: Wrought silver baptismal bowl; deep, circular bowl-shaped body on a circular molded and stepped pedestal; stepped, convex band around the body, below the plain, applied rim; band engraved in script, "Gift of DAVID & MARIA GRIM Grand Parents of MARIA ISABELLA daughter of PHILIP & ELIZABETH GRIM Born the 3d. day of Nov.r 1808 Baptized the 8 th. day of Jan. y 1809 The sponsors were Mary Grim David & M.a Lydig"; wheel turned decoration above and below the band; front center engraved with a foliate oval with the Grim family crest, a unicorn's head, in the center; opposite side in a foliate oval, "D M G" in bright-cut script; maker's mark on the base.
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Constance Schermerhorn Skillin
Object Number: 1969.31
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Marks: Stamped on the base: "W. Thompson" in script, in rectangular surround.
Inscribed: Engraved on band: "Gift of DAVID & MARIA GRIM Grand Parents of MARIA ISABELLA daughter of PHILIP & ELIZABETH GRIM Born the 3d. day of Nov.r 1808 Baptized the 8 th. day of Jan. y 1809 The sponsors were Mary Grim David J M Lydig" bold in roman letters, rest in script; engraved at front center: a foliate oval with the Grim family crest, a unicorn's head; engraved on reverse center: "D M G" in bright-cut script.

Gallery Label:

This bowl was used to administer the holy sacrament of baptism to two-month-old Maria Isabella Grim (1808-1890) on January 8, 1809. According to a handwritten note in the Grim family Bible, the baptism was performed by Bishop Benjamin Moore (1748-1816), the rector of New York City's Trinity Church. The prominent band of engraving encircling the bowl identifies it as a christening gift from Maria Isabella's grandparents David (1737-1826) and Mary Grim.

Provenance:

Presented to Maria Isabella Grim (1808-1890), who married George Stevens Schermerhorn (1807-1885); to their son Charles Augustus Schermerhorn (1839-1914), who married Louise Schermerhorn (1849-1924); to their daughter E. Constance Schermerhorn (Mrs. J. Harper Skillin, 1886-1981), the donor.

Exhibitions:

"Stories in Sterling: Four Centuries of Silver in New York," New-York Historical Society, May 4–September 23, 2012; Flagler Museum, Palm Beach, FL, January 28–April 20, 2014.