Collections › MESDA Collection › Beaker


Andrews, Jeremiah
Place Made:
Norfolk Virginia United States of America
Date Made:
silver –gold plated
HOA: 3-9/16″; DIA: 2-7/8″ (top), 2-1/8″ (base)
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: Silver beaker with gold plated rim and a slightly flared lip that tapers to the base.

MARK: Struck on underside of base with intaglio “ANDREWS” and “NORFOLK” in rectangular reserves.

MAKER: The first place silversmith Jeremiah Andrews (d.1817) is found is New York City in 1774 when he advertised as a jeweler from London who had set up his business on—appropriately—”Gold-Hill Street.” By June 1776 he was making trips to Philadelphia while continuing to advertise in New York that he would take commissions at his Hanover Square location. Andrews would repeat his exploratory trips to other cities a number of times over the course of his career. He would set up shop in one city and then venture to another city to test its potential business. Indeed, in 1776 Andrews did move to Philadelphia, where he advertised as a goldsmith and a jeweler for almost fifteen years, until 1790. Following his usual method, in April 1779 he advertised in Baltimore that he had “a neat assortment of Jewellery, of his own manufacture, equal to any imported. Ladies paste shoe buckles, of the newest patterns, gentlemen’s knee and stock buckles, garnet hoop rings, with every other kind of rings, lockets, and broaches.” He signed the advertisement as “Jeremiah Andrews, living on Second-Street between Chestnut and Walnut Streets, Philadelphia.” By 1784 he was offering his product in Baltimore through the shop of silversmith Isiah Wagster (w.1776-1793). That same year he advertised to members of the Society of the Cincinnati, “in particular to those Gentlemen who first engaged him to undertake the making of the Medals for that Society, and have now the Pleasure to inform them that he has completed a number of them, which are allowed by many for the Society to be preferable to those imported.” A year later he was recorded by George Washington in the Mount Vernon diary: “In the Evening a Mr. Andrew, Jeweller from Philadelphia, called to show me an Eagle Medal, which he had made, and was about to offer as specimen of his Workmanship to the Members of the Society of Cincinnati in hopes of being employed by them in that way.” Andrews did not impress General Washington, but the silversmith was successful in later gaining the patronage of the Cincinnati chapters from Georgia and Pennsylvania. He continually announced Cincinnati medals for sale in his advertisements from 1784 to 1791 beginning in Philadelphia and Baltimore and then as he visited cities even further south such as Savannah and Augusta, Georgia (1788-1790) and Richmond, Virginia (1787 and 1794). Andrews left Philadelphia for good by September 1791 when he set up shop in Norfolk, Virginia. He advertised that he had “jewelry for sale at Main Street opposite Church Street… [also a large silver tankard, silver spoons, silver buttons, and silver ‘sissar’ cases.]” Jeremiah Andrews remained in Norfolk until his death a quarter of a century later. See Catherine B. Hollan, “In the Neatest, Most Fashionable Manner: Three Centuries of Alexandria Silver” (Alexandria, VA: Lyceum, 1994).

FORM: Small drinking cups were popular throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Earlier examples usually have handles while nineteenth-century examples often did not. Like most silver hollowware created after the late eighteenth century, beakers were most often made from a rolled sheet of silver and seamed vertically up the side, in contrast to earlier examples that were raised (hammered up) from a disc.

Credit Line:
Given in memory of Mr. John F. Bivins, Jr. by Dr. and Mrs. Benjamin H. Caldwell, Jr.