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American Decorative Arts
Maker: George Christian Gebelein, American, 1878–1945
Maker after: Philip Syng, Jr., American, 1703–1789
Retailer: Gebelein Silversmiths, American, founded 1909




1 1/4 × 10 13/16 in. (3.2 × 27.4 cm)
with tray: 7 1/4 × 7 15/16 in. (18.4 × 20.2 cm)
Quill holder: 18 1/8 × 5 1/8 in. (46 × 13 cm)
Ink holder and sand shaker: 2 7/16 × 1 9/16 in. (6.2 × 3.9 cm)
Gift of Mrs. Edwina Mead Gagge
This is a replica of the inkstand made by Philip Syng, Jr., in 1752 and used by the signers of the Declaration of Independence. It is one of thirty such replicas that Francis P. Garvan commissioned from the Boston silversmith George Christian Gebelein. Intended as gifts for close friends and fellow members of the Chemical Foundation, the inkstands were symbolically potent objects that reflected Garvan’s interest in early Americana.
Made in Boston, Massachusetts
On view
20th century
Containers - Metals

“Acquisitions 1976,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin 36, no. 3 (Fall 1977): 56.

Judith Bernstein et al., The Eye of the Beholder: Fakes, Replicas, and Alterations in American Art, ed. Gerald W. R. Ward, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1977), 78, fig. 102.

Barbara M. Ward and Gerald W. R. Ward, eds., Silver in American Life: Selections from the Mabel Brady Garvan and Other Collections at Yale University, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1979), 45, 85, 101, no. 76, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.