Collections › MESDA Collection › Papboat


Boudo, Louis
Place Made:
Charleston, South Carolina
Date Made:
WOA: 5-3/8″
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: Silver papboat without a handle featuring a turned-over lip and decorated with an applied shell at the butt end.

INSCRIPTION: Engraved on side of body in script: “Mary Motte Haig / from / C Broughton”.

MARK: Struck on the base with an intaglio “BOUDO” mark contained within in a scrolled reserve.

MAKER: Louis Buodo (1786-1827), a native of St. Domingo, arrived in Charleston as a young man about 1809, immediately associating himself with the partnership of Maurel & Boudo, a short-lived arrangement. After Boudo’s death in 1827, his wife Heloise Boudo (d.1837) continued the business (using the mark “H.Boudo” with various faux hallmarks) and advertised that she wished to “remind her friends that she still continues the manufactory of gold and silver work, in all its branches — Silver spoons made in the best manner.” After Heloise’s death in 1837, the business was carried on by their daughter, Mrs. Erma Leroy. See E. Milby Burton, “South Carolina Silversmiths 1690-1860” (Charleston, SC: Charleston Museum, 1967) and “Palmetto Silver: Riches of the South” (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press for the McKissick Museum, 2003).

FORM: Pap, or bread softened with milk, was fed to infants and invalids. Papboats, also referred to as “sick cups,” were popular from about the mid-eighteenth century through the mid-nineteenth century. Made by a number of noted silversmiths from Boston to New Orleans, papboats were usually quite simple and undecorated, unlike this example with an applied shell and engraved presentation.

PROVENANCE: Based on the inscription, this pap boat was given by Miss Charlotte Broughton (1756-1828) to her infant great-niece, Mary Motte Haig (1824-1894) of Charleston, South Carolina.

RELATED OBJECTS: The MESDA Collection includes a miniature portrait of Charlotte Broughton’s mother, Mary (Jones) Keating Broughton (1726-1815) painted by the early minaturist, Mary Roberts (Acc. #5494), and the large early mahogany table that descended in the Broughton family at Mulberry Plantation (Acc. # 4533).

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