American Decorative Arts

Toy Caster

ca. 1680–90

Silver

2 x 13/16 in. (5.1 x 2.1 cm) base (Base): 13/16 in.(2.1 cm)
Mabel Brady Garvan Collection
1938.309
A fashion for elaborate dollhouses originated in late seventeenth-century Holland and spread to England and the American colonies. These were not amusements for children but for wealthy women who outfitted them with sumptuous furnishings executed in miniature. Some colonial goldsmiths specialized in “toys and jewels,” which they imported from London or made locally. This caster is from an assembled set of silver toys owned by Bethiah Shrimpton (1681–1713) of Boston.
Culture: 
British
Period: 
17th century
Classification: 
Toys and Games
Geography: 
Probably made in England
Status: 
On view
Provenance: 

Originally owned by Bethiah Shrimpton (1681-1713), Boston, MA; her niece, Elizabeth (Hunt) Wendell (1717-1779); her daughter, Elizabeth (Wendell) Smith (1742-1779); her daughter, Elizabeth (Smith) Stevens (1795-1860); her daughter, Mary Eliza (Stevens) Pride; Mrs. Charles W. Lord; gift in 1938 to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

Bibliography: 

John Marshall Phillips, “Masterpieces in American Silver: Part 1, Seventeenth-Century Traditions,” The Magazine Antiques 54 (December 1948): 416, ill.

John Marshall Phillips, “Masterpieces in American Silver; Part I, Seventeenth-Century Traditions,” Antiques vol. 54, no. 6 (December 1948): 416, ill.

Kathryn C. Buhler and Graham Hood, American Silver in the Yale University Art Gallery, 2 vols. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1970), vol. 1, pp. 314–17, no. 544, ill.

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), 108, no. 98, 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.