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Tankard

Made by Joseph Anthony, Jr., American, 1761 - 1814. Made for Charles Jarvis, American, 1731 - 1806.

Geography:
Made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, North and Central America

Date:
1788

Medium:
Silver

Dimensions:
6 7/8 x 7 3/4 x 5 inches (17.5 x 19.7 x 12.7 cm) Weight: 37 ounces 8 dwt (1.06 kg)

Curatorial Department:
American Art

Object Location:

* Gallery 104, American Art, first floor (Sherrerd Gallery)

Accession Number:
1950-53-1

Credit Line:
Purchased with Museum funds, 1950

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Label:
Joseph Anthony, Jr., arrived in Philadelphia from Newport, Rhode Island, in 1782. Despite his forays into the sale of utilitarian items-novelty jewelry, buttons, books, shaving cases, and utensils-the young silversmith nonetheless received prestigious commissions from George Washington and William Penn's grandsons, John Penn, Esq., and John Penn, Jr. As the elaborate engraving expresses, the Penns sought to award their attorneys for loyal service and commissioned two tankards from Anthony-one for Gunning Bedford and this one for Charles Jarvis. The barrel or hooped design is typically rendered in a pint size, suggesting this tankard's purpose as a presentation piece.

Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections

    In 1782 the silversmith Joseph Anthony, Jr., moved from Newport, Rhode Island, to Philadelphia, where post-Revolutionary trade was brisk and the newest Neoclassical styles from abroad were in vogue. This tankard is a grand expression of the new style, which featured straight, plain surfaces fashioned from rolled sheet silver and often, as here, embellished with applied decorative bandings. The engraved arms of the Penn family, enframed with fluttering floral garlands, and the elegant script are also characteristic of the latest fashion. The tankard was presented to the lawyer Charles Jarvis, who in 1787 had represented the cousins John Penn and John Penn, Jr., in petitions to the state of Pennsylvania regarding land inherited from William Penn's original grant from Charles II. Anthony also made an identical tankard, now in the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, which the Penns gave to the surveyor who had worked on their behalf. The Penns' petitions were unsuccessful, however, and both men returned to England in 1788, thus signaling the end of the family's proprietary interests in Pennsylvania. Beatrice B. Garvan, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 266.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.

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