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Object Name: Soup tureen
Date: ca. 1830
Related People:
Medium: Silver
Dimensions: Overall: 10 3/4 × 10 3/4 × 12 7/8 in., 104 oz (troy) 18.8 dwt (27.3 × 27.3 × 32.7 cm, 3264 g)
Place made: North America, United States, Philadelphia
Description: Wrought silver soup tureen; shallow, circular, bowl-shaped body with an applied, die-rolled foliate wave band around the rim; body mounted on a circular stepped foot with die-rolled leaf pattern band around the top of the pedestal and a foliate wave band around the footring; two cast, squared loop handles with acanthus decoration and two cast, acanthus and foliate handle joints, applied to the sides of the body; circular, domed lid has an applied egg-and-dart band along rim; top of lid dome has cast, flat acanthus leaf ornament applied at top, surmounted with a hollow cast pineapple finial; maker's marks on the base.
Credit Line: Gift of Goodhue Livingston
Object Number: 1951.311ab
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Marks: Maker's mark stamped on base: profile bust in circular surround, "T" in shield surround, "F" in shield surround, eagle in circular surround, and "P" in a shield, all in Roman letters.

Gallery Label:

This soup tureen, originally one of a pair, reflects the early nineteenth-century fashion for silver in the French Empire style, which drew heavily from the grandeur of antiquity. Livingston family history suggests that the tureen was made for the Philadelphia couple Coleman Fisher (1793-1857) and Mary Read (1799-1875). The form of this vessel is derived from the ancient Greek kylix, a wide drinking cup with horizontal handles. Silversmith Thomas Fletcher's interpretation features expanses of reflective silver punctuated by crisp die-rolled ornament and crowned with a robust cast cauliflower finial.


Coleman Fisher (1793-1857), who married Mary Read (1799-1875); to their daughter Elizabeth Rhodes Fisher (1828-1878), who married Eugene Augustus Livingston (1813-1893); to their son Richard Montgomery Callendar Livingston (1861-1945); to his cousin Goodhue Livingston (1867-1951), the donor.


"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.