Pair Of Early American Silver Master Salt Cellars Hallmarked Joseph Richardson I
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Pair Of Early American Silver Master Salt Cellars Hallmarked Joseph Richardson I:
Joseph Richardson, Sr., brother of Frank, has been called the greatest in a family of great silversmiths. He was born in Philadelphia, September 17, 1711, and died in Philadelphia, October 1784. He was an apprentice under his father and inherited his father’s tools and shop. He married Hannah Worrell (also spelled Worrill), daughter of Richard Worrell, on August 13, 1741. They had two daughters: Elizabeth (1742-1804) and Grace (1743-1744). Hannah died in early 1747. A year later, Joseph married Mary Allen, daughter of Nathaniel and Hannah Webb Allen; Mary died in 1787. Joseph and Mary had two sons and three daughters: Joseph, Jr. and Nathaniel, both of whom also became silversmiths, and Hannah. Mary and Rebecca. In addition to silversmithing, Joseph dealt in real estate and merchandising.
The fortuitous survival of some of Joseph’s account and letter books formed the basis of Martha Gandy Fales’s Joseph Richardson and Family, Philadelphia Silversmiths, the “sterling standard” of artisanal biography. As colonial American silver lacks England’s dated assay marks, Fales developed date ranges for each of Joseph’s marks by extrapolating from the objects she could identify in his transactions. While she recognized his first mark as in use circa 1730, Fales had difficulty ascribing dates before 1733 to any of his pieces because his extant ledgers contained no prior entries.
Three generations of Richardson silversmiths dominated their craft in Philadelphia for a hundred years. Joseph was the second surviving son, and an apprentice, of Francis Richardson (1681– 1729), the dynasty’s founder.