Diplomatic Reception Rooms, U.S. Department of State

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Web Property of the U.S. Department of State


Object Details

Daniel Dupuy, Jr. (Silversmith, 1753-1826)
ca. 1795
United States: Pennsylvania: Philadelphia
North American
metal; silver
Overall: 6 1/8 in; x 15.5575 cm
Said to have been owned by Benjamin Franklin
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
The Diplomatic Reception Rooms, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C.
Accession Number

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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.