INSCRIPITON: Engraved with a script initial W” on face of handle.
MARK: Struck on reverse of handle with an intaglio “P.NEGRIN” mark in a rectangular reserve flanked by incuse starbursts or flowers.
MAKER: Paul Negrin (1798-1860) was born in France and emigrated to Baltimore, Maryland in 1816. He was bound as an apprentice to silversmith Lewis Poncet (w.1797-1822) and four years later was in Charlottesville, Virginia advertising that he had opened a watch and jewelry shop opposite the courthouse. While in Charlottesville, Negrin served as a translator and provided small services for Thomas Jefferson. In 1823 he was advertising his shop in Nashville, Tennessee. Five years later he married Maria Adele Labouisse (b.1806) in New York. It was Negrin’s second marriage. In 1836 he was among the nine men who signed the membership agreement of the “Association of the Watch-Makers, Silversmiths & Jewellers of Nashville” in 1836. The association established price guidelines for the manufacture and repair of clocks, watches, silver, and jewelery, all recorded in fellow silversmith John Campbell’s ledger book, now at MESDA as part of the Thomas A. Gray Rare Book and Manuscript Collection (call number TAG.096.1). Negrin continued to work in Nashville through at least 1844 but was listed in the 1850 New York City directory as a merchant. He died in 1860 and is buried in Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery. See Catherine B. Hollan, “Virginia Silversmiths, Jewelers, Watch- and Clockmakers, 1607-1860: Their Lives and Marks” (McLean, VA: Hollan Press, 2010); Benjamin H. Caldwell Jr., “Tennessee Silversmiths” (Winston-Salem, NC: Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, 1988); U.S. Census Mortality Schedules, New York, 1850-1880, Roll M3, 1860 (online: https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/8756/31817_B00466441B-00896/3082096?backurl=https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/person/tree/8111984/person/24206578667/facts/citation/100314208644/edit/record [accessed 21 September 2017]);
and Gravestone for Paul Negrin(n), burial 9 April 1860, Green-Wood Cemetery, Lot 3385, Section 60 (online: http://www.green-wood.com [accessed 21 September 2017]).
FORM: Large silver ladles were popular for serving punch or soup. Most had plain hemispherical bowls, others were round, and a few had scalloped or shaped bowls. Smaller ladles of silver were most often designated for serving sauces and gravy.