Jeremiah Dummer (14 September 1645 – 24 May 1718) was the first American-born silversmith, whose works are today highly valued, two items of his having sold in 2004 and 2007 both for $204,000. He was also noted as a portrait painter and as an engraver, who created the first paper currency in Connecticut Colony. His son Jeremiah Jr. was involved with the foundation of Yale University.
A silversmith is a metalworker who crafts objects from silver. The terms silversmith and goldsmith are not exactly synonyms as the techniques, training, history, and guilds are or were largely the same but the end product may vary greatly as may the scale of objects created.
The Connecticut Colony or Colony of Connecticut, originally known as the Connecticut River Colony or simply the River Colony, was an English colony in North America that became the state of Connecticut. It was organized on March 3, 1636 as a settlement for a Puritan congregation, and the English permanently gained control of the region in 1637 after struggles with the Dutch. The colony was later the scene of a bloody war between the colonists and Pequot Indians known as the Pequot War. Connecticut Colony played a significant role in the establishment of self-government in the New World with its refusal to surrender local authority to the Dominion of New England, an event known as the Charter Oak incident which occurred at Jeremy Adams' inn and tavern.
Jeremiah Dummer was an important colonial figure for New England in the early 18th century. His most significant contributions to American history were his A Defense of the New England Charters and his role in the formation of Yale College.
Dummer was born in Newbury, Massachusetts, the first son of Richard Dummer and his second wife, Frances Burr.
Newbury is a town in Essex County, Massachusetts, USA. The population was 6,666 at the 2010 census. Newbury includes the villages of Old Town, Plum Island and Byfield. Each village is a precinct with its own voting district, various town offices, and business center.
Richard Dummer was an early settler in New England who has been described as "one of the fathers of Massachusetts".
At the age of 14, he was apprenticed to John Hull, the mintmaster at Boston. ... to serve me as Apprentice eight years". When he was 23 he started on his own and became a prolific and notable silversmith making tankards, beakers, porringers, caudle cups and candlesticks. The fluted band on a plain surface is characteristic of his work. He is said to have introduced into American silver the ornamentation known as "gadrooning", curved flutings on the surface of silver.Hull recorded at the time that he "received into my house Jeremie Dummer
John Hull was the leading merchant and mintmaster of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
A tankard is a form of drinkware consisting of a large, roughly cylindrical, drinking cup with a single handle. Tankards are usually made of silver, pewter, or glass, but can be made of other materials, for example wood, ceramic or leather. A tankard may have a hinged lid, and tankards featuring glass bottoms are also fairly common. Tankards are shaped and used similarly to beer steins.
A beaker is a beverage container, and a term used in parts of the UK. A beaker is typically a non-disposable plastic or ceramic cup or mug without a handle, much like a laboratory beaker.
He held many public offices, and was a Member and Captain of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Society in 1671 and Constable of Boston in 1675–76.He was appointed Freeman of Boston in 1680, a member of Capt Hutchinson's Company in 1684, a member of the Council of Safety against Andres in 1689, a Selectman of Boston 1691–92, Judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Suffolk County 1702–15, Treasurer of Suffolk County 1711–16, and was a member in full communion at the venerable First Church.
He was also an engraver, and engraved plates for currency: in 1710 he printed the first paper money in Connecticut.When the government of Connecticut decided in 1709 to issue paper currency, or Bills of Exchange, Dummer was selected to do the engraving of the plates and the printing of the bills. Journals of the Council for 1710 show transactions with Dummer relating to this currency, and in 1712 Governor Saltonstall laid before the Council Board Dummer's bill for printing 6,550 sheets of this paper currency. Dummer's former apprentice, John Coney, had the distinction of engraving the plates for the first paper money issued by Massachusetts some years previously, the first issued on the American continent, although some sources also credit Dummer with the engraving of the Massachusetts copper plates.
John Coney was an early American silversmith and goldsmith from Boston, Massachusetts. He specialised in engraving. From the 1690s on, Coney was considered the most important Bostonian silversmith of his day. In 1702, he engraved the paper money for Massachusetts. Coney also designed a version of the seal of Harvard College.
Dummer was also one America's foremost early portrait painters. Among his paintings are a self-portrait and portrait of his wife, Anna,together with portraits of many of his contemporaries.
He died on 24 May 1718 in Boston.His obituary printed in the Boston News-Letter on 2 June 1718 said:
Departed this life Jeremiah Dummer, Esqr., in the 73rd year of his Age, after a long retirement ... having served his country faithfully in several Publick Stations, and obtained of all that knew him the Character of a Just, Virtuous, and Pious Man;
His apprentices included:
He was a prolific craftsman and over one hundred pieces listed as made by him have been preserved.Dummer's silverwork mark is "ID enclosed over a fleur-de-lis in a heart or occasionally ID in a rectangle".
Among his works in public museum collections:
From time to time, Dummer's work comes up for auction.
In January 2005, several pieces of silver from the First Church of Christ, Farmington, Connecticut came up for auction at Sotheby's, New York.Top prices were achieved by a silver two-handled cup c. 1690 ($144,000), a silver two-handled cup c. 1675 ($168,000) and a silver two-handled cup, by John Hull and Robert Sanderson, overstruck by Jeremiah Dummer, c. 1670 which fetched the top price of $204,000.
In January 2007, a beaker from 1670 was auctioned at the New York auction house Christie's, with an estimate of $150,000 to $250,000.The cup, which was given to The First Church in Salem in 1684 by Francis Skerry, who ran a local malt house, realised $204,000, and was bought by an "anonymous collector".
In 1672, he was married in Boston to Anna Atwater, daughter of Joseph Atwater of Boston.They had eight children:
His half-brother, Shubael (1636–1692), founded the first Congregational church at York, Maine in 1672 and was killed by Abenakis in the Candlemas Massacre of 1692.
Robert F. Ensko I also known as Robert Ensko, Sr. was a Manhattan silver expert and author of Makers of Early American Silver in 1915. The book in its multiple editions has become the standard reference work for antique American silver.
William Dummer was a politician in the Province of Massachusetts Bay. He served as its lieutenant governor for fourteen years (1716–1730), including an extended period from 1723 to 1728 when he acted as governor. He is remembered for his role in leading the colony during what is sometimes called Dummer's War, which was fought between the British colonies of northeastern North America and a loose coalition of native tribes in what is now New Hampshire, Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.
The Paul Revere House (1680) was the colonial home of American patriot Paul Revere during the time of the American Revolution. A National Historic Landmark, it is located at 19 North Square, Boston, Massachusetts, in the city's North End, and is now operated as a nonprofit museum by the Paul Revere Memorial Association. An admission fee is charged.
Amos Doolittle was an American engraver and silversmith, known as "The Revere of Connecticut." His engravings included portraits and maps, made in his New Haven, Connecticut studio. He became famous for his four engravings depicting the Battles of Lexington and Concord, which were based on his first-hand reconnaissance of the battlefield.
Events from the year 1718 in art.
Events from the year 1645 in art.
The silver Sapieha beaker is a 16th-century beaker, which originally belonged to Grygor Sapieha and was made in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The Sapieha family played an important role in Lithuania's history through much of the 16th century. In 2007 the beaker was auctioned at Christie's London for £132,500. At the time the purchaser remained anonymous.
Peter Archambo I (1699–1759) in his time Peter Archambo, was a Huguenot silver and goldsmith. He was the English-born son of the Huguenot (Protestant) refugee Archambault family from France. In 1710 he was apprenticed to the notable Huguenot goldsmith Jacob Margas.
Jewish ceremonial art, also known as Judaica, refers to an array of objects used by Jews for ritual purposes. Because enhancing a mitzvah by performing it with an especially beautiful object is considered a praiseworthy way of honoring God's commandments, Judaism has a long tradition of commissioning ritual objects from craftsmen and artists.
Joseph Badger was a portrait artist in Boston, Massachusetts, in the 18th century. He was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, to tailor Stephen Badger and Mercy Kettell. He "began his career as a house-painter and glazier, and ... throughout his life continued this work, besides painting signs, hatchments and other heraldic devices, in order to eke out a livelihood when orders for portraits slackened." In 1731 he married Katharine Felch; they moved to Boston around 1733. He was a member of the Brattle Street Church. He died in Boston in May, 1765, when "taken with an apoplectic fit as he was walking in his garden, and expired in a few minutes after." Works by Badger are in the collections of the Worcester Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and Historic New England's Phillips House, Salem, Mass.
Rev. Shubael Dummer was an American Congregational church minister who was killed in the Candlemas Massacre in York, Maine. Described as a man of "beautiful Christian character", Dummer founded the First Parish Congregational Church of York, the oldest church congregation in the U.S. state of Maine.
Edward Winslow was an early colonial silversmith, military leader, sheriff and jurist.
Nathaniel Hurd was an engraver and silversmith in Boston, Massachusetts, in the 18th century. He engraved "bookplates ... heraldic devices, seals, ... paper currency, and business cards."
Zachariah Brigden was a noted American silversmith active in Boston.
R. Wallace & Sons was formed in Wallingford, Connecticut and incorporated in 1879. As of 1893, this company manufactured silver and plated ware and cutlery and had about 600 employees.
In 1872, the Derby Silver Company began production in Derby, CT. Over the years, the company made bathroom-related items, clocks, tableware and flatware, tea sets, candlesticks, fruit baskets, dishes, and more object types made of silver and silver plate. The Derby Silver Company operated showrooms in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. As of 1893, the President and Manager of the company was Watson J. Miller. Wesley L. Clark was the Secretary and Treasurer.
Ebenezer Coker (?-1783) was an English silversmith. He began his career in 1738. One of his chamber candlesticks is held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Four of his candlesticks were sold for $15,000 at a 2012 Christie's auction.
(in footnote)  May 24th ... This day Capt. Dummer dies