Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
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Funeral spoon

Date:
ca. 1688
Geography:
Possibly made in Albany, New York, United States; Probably made in New York, New York, United States
Culture:
American
Medium:
Silver
Dimensions:
L. 7 5/8 in. (19.4 cm); WT: 1oz. 12 dwt. (50.3 g)
Classification:
Silver
Credit Line:
Gift of Estate of Mrs. Abraham Lansing, 1929
Accession Number:
29.159.6
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 712
Funeral spoons were presented to family members or close friends upon the burial of loved ones. The inscription on the front of this spoon’s handle refers to Maria Van Rensselaer, who died in 1688 or 1689. Maria had married Jeremias Van Rensselaer in 1662 but was herself a Van Cortlandt. The initials “M G” are those of Maria’s great-granddaughter, Magdelena Douw, who married Harme Gansevoort in 1740. This utensil, therefore, represents the intertwining of several prominent New York families of Dutch descent.
Inscription: engraved on front of handle in script: Maria v: Renselaer Obit 24 Jann An[superscript o] 1688/9; engraved on back of handle: M * G
Magdalena Douw Gansevoort (1718–1796); by family descent to Catherine Gansevoort (Mrs. Abraham) Lansing (1839–1918); gift from her estate to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1929.
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