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Boudo, Heloise
Place Made:
Charleston, South Carolina
Date Made:
LOA: 8-3/4″
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: Tablespoon with a pointed oval bowl and fiddle-shaped handle with a slight backward bend.

INSCRIPTION: Engraved on the face of the handle are what appear to be the initials “HD” (difficult to read); the initials “DH” are engraved on the reverse of the handle.

MARK: Struck on the reverse of the handle are an intaglio “H BOUDO” mark in a rectangular reserve and three pseudo intaglio hallmarks: a spread-wing eagle, a capital “D”, and a left-facing bust. Eagle and other pseudo hallmarks are found on silver made in cities throughout America during the Federal period and may have served as an informal national mark, similar to the lion’s head, thistle, and harp used, respectively, by British, Scottish, and Irish guild halls. They marks may also have been used by large manufacturers selling their wares to be retailed by other silversmiths and jewelers. See Catherine B. Hollan, “Eagle Marks on American Silver” (McLean, VA: Hollan Press, 2015).

MAKER: Heloise Boudo (d.1837) was the daughter of Eugenie Magniant Simonet (or Simonette) Dile. Her father may have been Stephen Simonet. In 1811, Heloise married Louis Boudo (1786-1827), a St. Domingo native. By 1811, Louis Boudo was working as a silversmith in Charleston using the mark “BOUDO” or “Ls.BOUDO”. In February 1827, a month after the death of her husband, Heloise Boudo announced through an ad in The Charleston Courier that she “takes this method of grateful acknowledgement to the patrons of her late husband, and informs them she intends to carry on the Jewelry business, in all its various branches.” She used the marke “H.BOUDO” accompanied by a variety of faux hallmarks. The 1829 city directory notes “Pearl & Hair/ Work Manufactured and Repaired” as one type of business she carried out. Prior to his death, Louis Boudo apparently traveled north each fall on a buying trip. The ads Heloise ran in November of each year announcing her return from the North with a variety of jewelry goods for sale suggest that she carried on this tradition following her husband’s death. After Heloise’s death in 1837, the business was carried on by her 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: 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 or coffee and/or eating custard or ice cream (teaspoons).

Credit Line:
Gift of Stephen Neal Dennis in memory of Esten Matheson Bohannon