Rare Set of Three Silver Casters, Simeon Soumaine, New York, c. 1740, baluster form, in sizes for sugar, mustard, and pepper, the body with engraved crest and molded foot, domed covers with baluster finial and pierced decoration, one with engraved blind piercing, each caster and cover marked "SS" in a sunken cartouche, the tallest ht. 8, smaller pair ht. 6 5/8 in., approx. 28.5 troy oz.
Provenance: Constantine & Pletcher Auction, Cheswick, Pennsylvania, 2011. This set of three casters along with a fourth octagonal caster, also by Soumaine, bearing the arms of Joshua Maddox of Philadelphia, descended through the Van der Veer family and were sold as a single lot. The Maddox caster is now in the Yale University Art Gallery collection.
Note: Sets of three 18th century American silver casters rarely survive. There are only two other known complete sets documented, both made by Adrien Bancker of New York. The Yale University Art Gallery preserves a partial set of two Soumaine casters along with the single Maddox piece sold with the presently offered set in 2012.
Soumaine's work is distinctive in that the underside of the foot of these three casters retains a rough cast, unfinished, surface. This same trait is present on the Maddox caster and a related Maddox sugar caster in the Yale University Art Gallery collection.
X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry analysis of the casters was conducted by the Scientific Research and Analysis Laboratory (SRAL) at Winterthur Museum comparing the silver alloy utilized in the production of these casters to other Simeon Soumaine pieces. The full report is available upon request.
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