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Child’s place setting

Object Name: Child's place setting with case
Date: ca. 1868
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Medium: Silver, leather, velvet, silk, metal
Dimensions: Part (spoon): 7 3/8 × 1 5/8 × 1 in. (18.7 × 4.1 × 2.5 cm) Part (knife): 7 3/4 x 3/4 x 1/2 in. (19.7 x 1.9 x 1.3 cm) Part (fork): 7 x 1 x 5/8 in. (17.8 x 2.5 x 1.6 cm) Container (case): 9 5/8 × 5 5/8 × 1 3/4 in. (24.4 × 14.3 × 4.4 cm) Part: 2 oz (troy) 4.4 dwt (69 g) Part: 2 oz (troy) 4.4 dwt (69 g) Part: 2 oz (troy) 17.2 dwt (89 g)
Place made: North America, New York
Description: Silver child's place setting including a spoon, table knife and fork in a red leather box; handles in the form of cherubim wrapped in graped vines; spoon and fork with baluster stems; spoon with a pointed oval bowl; fork with four curved tines; both engraved, "J. Mc K 3d - J. H. Mc K" in block letters on the bowls; knife with a flat, curved blade engraved, "J. Mc K 3d/ --/ J. H. Mc K" in block letters; makers' marks stamped on the underside of the blade; red leather ovoid box with a domed lid, lined with purple velvet on the bottom and white silk on the top; silk stamped with the retailer's mark.
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Irving McKesson
Object Number: 1944.152a-d
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Marks: engraved: on the spoon and fork bowls: "J. Mc K 3d - J. H. Mc K" in block letters engraved: on the knife blade: "J. Mc K 3d/- -/ J. H. Mc K" in block letters stamped: on the underside of the blade: "ENG'STERLIG/ 925-1000" and a gothic "B" in a diamond stamped: on the inside of the lid: "GOLD AND SILVER * SMITHS" in a garter around, "TIFFANY & Co/ 550/ & 552/ BROADWAY"

Gallery Label:

This set was given to John McKesson (1868-1873) by his godfather John van Schaick Oddie (1845-1902), probably at the time of his baptism. McKesson died at the age of five, yet the set remained in the family and was given to his namesake and nephew, John Henderson McKesson (1906-1927), around 1906. Boxed sets of a knife, fork, and spoon, such as this example, became fashionable in the United States during the 1860s, and by the 1880s were a popular product line for Tiffany & Co. and silver and silverplate manufacturers.


Presented to John McKesson (1868-1873); held by his father John McKesson, Jr. (ca. 1843-1924); given to John Henderson McKesson (1906-1927); retained by his parents, Irving McKesson (1872-1958) and Mary Henderson (b. 1878), the donors.


"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.