Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Sugar box

Maker:
Paul de Lamerie (British, 1688–1751, active 1712–51)
Date:
1744/45
Culture:
British, London
Medium:
Silver
Dimensions:
Overall: 5 5/8 × 3 7/16 × 4 5/16 in. (14.3 × 8.7 × 11 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Silver
Credit Line:
Bequest of Rev. Alfred Duane Pell, 1925
Accession Number:
25.15.55
Not on view
Decorated with whimsical scenes showing the harvesting of sugar cane, this box was probably part of a set that included containers for green and bohea (black) tea. Tea was an expensive commodity during the eighteenth century, and such canisters were often stored in a locked, fitted case made of mahogany or shagreen (shark skin). The scenes of exotically dressed sugar harvesters are surrounded by abstract organic ornament that suggests a grotesque face—a juxtaposition that is characteristic of Paul de Lamerie’s workshop.
Inscription: [1] "48=6 sett" scratched with very fine point on underside (probably 18th century)
[2] "3104, £4x/d/h,
[3] scratched with a fine point on underside (dealer's price in a code; probably 19th or 20th century; possibly means £40, 4 shillings, eight pence, for three).

Marking: [1] Lion passant (English quality mark for sterling);
[2] Leopard's head crowned (London assay office mark);
[3] i, in shield (London date letter for 1744–45);
[4] P L (script) crown above, pellet between and below (maker's mark for Paul de Lamerie, entered 1739).
Reverend Alfred Duane Pell (until 1925; bequeathed to MMA)
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