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    A Rare Francis Richardson Sr. Silver Tankard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, circa 1710
    Marks: FR
    7-1/4 x 7-7/8 x 5-1/2 inches (18.4 x 20.0 x 14.0 cm)
    28.52 troy ounces

    The tankard with molded stepped baseband supporting tapered cylindrical body to stepped domed lid with cast flange, scrolled reeded thumbpiece, five knuckle hinge, S-form handle with pendant drop at upper join and applied graduated drops flanked by monogram ES along top of handle, handle terminating in shield-form cartouche with monogram ES, maker's mark FR within heart-shape cartouche struck twice to either side of handle, scratched to the underside oz. 29 - dtw 17.

    Silver pieces by Francis Richardson II are extremely rare, and it is unclear whether little of his work survived over time or if he simply produced little due to other business responsibilities.

    Francis Richardson was born in New York in 1684. His father, of the same name, was a prosperous New York Quaker merchant, who interestingly was the first American to acquire a parcel of land from William Penn. The elder Richardson died in 1686 shortly after this purchase, and ten years later, the family, including 12-year-old Francis, moved to the fledgling (burgeoning?) Philadelphia. There is a gap in our knowledge of young Francis' upbringing, including whether his training as a silversmith occurred in Philadelphia, New York or England. However, we do know that in 1701, William Penn recorded the purchase of a pair of boot buckles from Francis Richardson for his daughter Letitia.

    Two extant Richardson pieces are of interest in relationship to this tankard with their shared S-scroll handles ending with a shield: a can made for Phebe Sharples of Chester County, Pennsylvania, now in the Winterthur Museum collection, and a tankard made for William and Mary Branson, also of Chester County, Pennsylvania, now in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

    This tankard was also likely made for a wealthy member of Philadelphia's Quaker community. Family legend gives room for speculation. The tankard's monogram is supposedly that of Edward Shippen, Richardson's step-father, who married the widow Richardson just prior to the family's move to Philadelphia. Shippen was a prosperous Philadelphia merchant who held important positions in the government and was known to have owned the grandest home and carriage in all of Philadelphia.

    Condition Report*: The tankard presents well with several dents to domed lid, push to rim of lid, original hinge intact, several pushes to edge of foot, scattered pin dents, especially to underside, and general fine surface scratches and abrasions, with wear commensurate with early 18th century age and normal use.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2019
    24th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 16
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,054

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