On February 4, 1774 the surviving son of Martha Washington, John "Jacky" Parke Custis, married Eleanor Calvert, uniting two of the most well connected and wealthy families in colonial America. Although young, (nineteen and sixteen respectively), the couple recognized the importance of surrounding themselves with fine goods that spoke of their fortune, taste, and gentility. They soon assembled an impressive array of imported English silver which included this feather-edged punch ladle made by silversmith Thomas Tookey of London. In the eighteenth-century, drinking punch was a convivial social occasion with a distinct equipage. Long-handled ladles were used to serve the blend of spirits, citrus juice, sugar, and spices from the large bowls in which it was mixed.
See also W-107, W-108, W-484, W-2516, W-2519, W-2521/A-D, and W-2527.
Silver punch ladle with round bowl and downturned handle with faint midrib and rounded drop; chased feather-edged border outside a beaded border around edge of handle; Custis family crest, the head of an eagle above a wreath, engraved near the end of the handle.
Overall: 12 1/4 in. x 3 1/2 in. x 2 5/8 in. (31.12 cm x 8.89 cm x 6.68 cm)
Purchased with funds donated by Mrs. George Revitz, 2008
Stamped on the reverse of the handle, near the bowl: Date letter "T" in Gothic script within a shield; London city mark, leopard's head crowned; Sterling standard mark, lion passant; partially obscured maker's mark.
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