When looking for proper silver spoons for George Washington's camp table, it is not surprising that Colonel Clement Biddle turned to Philadelphia silversmith Richard Humphreys. Humphreys was supportive of the war cause and had fashioned a silver hot-water urn in 1774 for the members of the First Continental Congress to present to Secretary Charles Thomson. This tablespoon was among the two dozen made by Humphreys for Washington in 1780. The feather-edged decoration on each appears on numerous examples of Washington's flatware and was perhaps favored by him for the sparkle it brought to a dining table lit by flickering candles.


Silver tablespoon with round-tipped shaft, elongated oval bowl, and downturned handle with faint midrib and rounded drop; chased feather-edged border around edge of handle; obverse of handle engraved with George Washington's crest, a winged griffin issuing from a ducal coronet.








Overall: 9 in. x 1 3/4 in. x 1 1/8 in. (22.86 cm x 4.45 cm x 2.87 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Mary Lee Bowman and Robert E. Lee IV, 1981


Maker's mark on reverse of handle, in script: "R. Humphreys".

Object Number


Colors (Beta)

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