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Object Details

Maker
Daniel Dupuy, Jr. (Silversmith, 1753-1826)
Date
ca. 1795
Geography
United States: Pennsylvania: Philadelphia
Culture
North American
Medium
metal; silver
Dimensions
Overall: 6 1/8 in; x 15.5575 cm
Provenance
Said to have been owned by Benjamin Franklin
Inscriptions
In script at the bend, "MP." Marks: In block letters within a rounded rectangular reserve, struck inside one arm: "D.DUPUY."
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Bertram Lippincott
Collection
The Diplomatic Reception Rooms, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C.
Accession Number
RR-1985.0039

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Object Essay

Silver sugar tongs were an important part of tea equipment and were considered a particularly appropriate gift for a woman. Prior to the Revolution, most American silver sugar tongs were of the scissor type. The earliest spring-type tongs had rather thick, pierced arms with tiny grips soldered to the tempered, curved spring. By 1790, this type of spring tong was made all in one piece, with acorn-shaped grips and delicate, bright-cut engraving.  

The work of Daniel Dupuy, Jr., typifies the elegance of Philadelphia neoclassical silver, with its restrained, bright-cut engraved ornament closely resembling furniture inlay patterns.

Jennifer F. Goldsborough

Excerpted from Clement E. Conger, et al. Treasures of State: Fine and Decorative Arts in the Diplomatic Reception Rooms of the U.S. Department of State. New York: H.N. Abrams, 1991.