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Tablespoon

Artist/Maker:
You, Daniel
Place Made:
Charleston, South Carolina
Date Made:
1737-1750
Medium:
silver
Dimensions:
LOA: 8-11/16″
Accession Number:
2666.1
Description:
DESCRIPTION: One of a pair of large silver spoons with oval bowls, “spatulate” handles with ridges down the center and a thickened end that turns up slightly, and single drops on reverse of bowls.

INSCRIPTION: Engraved with the initials “HCS–with the surname initial “C” below proper name initials “H” and “C”–and and a three-point floral device on reverse of handle face. The initials most likely represent Charleston carpenter Henry Christie (d.1775) and his first wife Sarah Nelson Christie (1718-d.c.1752).

MARK: Struck twice on reverse of handle with intaglio “D.YOU” mark in a rectangle reserve.

MAKER: Daniel You (b.c.1715-d.1750) is known to have worked in Charleston from approximately 1737 until his death in 1750. He was most likely the son of Jacques (James/John) You (b.c.1690–d.1749) and Marie (Mary) Paitreau You (b.c.1690–d.1753) and older brother of Charleston silversmith Thomas You (b.c.1730-1750). Daniel You was a member of the South Carolina Society and the inventory of his estate lists his tools and patterns. See Gary Albert, “Scratching the Surface: Thomas You, Charleston Silversmith, Engraver, and Patriot,” MESDA Journal, Vol. 33 (2012), online: http://www.mesdajournal.org/2012/scratching-surface-thomas-you-charleston-silversmith-engraver-patriot/ (accessed 5 June 2017) and E. Milby Burton, “South Carolina Silversmiths 1690-1860” (Charleston, SC: Charleston Museum, 1967).

FORM: Larger serving spoons such as this one began to supplement ordinary tablespoons during the eighteenth century. By the nineteenth century, spoons were crafted for such specific purposes as serving salt and sugar (salt spoons), food items (serving spoons), punch and soup (ladles), and for stirring tea and/or eating custard or ice cream (teaspoons).

History:
The initials most likely represent Charleston carpenter Henry Christie (d.1775) (see MESDA Craftsman Database ID 6262) and his first wife Sarah Nelson Christie (1718-d.c.1752). Henry Christie is an example of a craftsman that lived a modestly successful material life. He was a member of the South Carolina Society and purchased and leased numerous lots in Charleston and land up the Cooper River in St. James Goose Creek. In 1755 he willed his daughter Catherine household items such as mahogany furnishings, silver, and brass. A 1757 record Henry Christie mortgaging property detailed a long list of mahogany and walnut furniture, textile, porcelain, and silver, including six tablespoons, among which MESDA’s pair may have been included. Christie also owned a number of enslaved persons throughout his life, and his estate inventory included three adult men (Jack, Nero, and Tower Wills[?]), a woman named Silvia, and a boy named Moses.
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. William Wilkins