Sep 29, 2022 - Sale 2615

Sale 2615 - Lot 266

Price Realized: $ 3,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 800 - $ 1,200
(GIDEON WELLES.) 3-piece silver tea service owned by the Gideon Welles family. Teapot, 9 3/4 inches tall including hinged lid; cream pitcher, 7 inches tall including hinged lid; and sugar bowl, 8 3/4 inches tall including separate lid; each with Gorham hallmarks under base including a lion, an anchor, and a gothic "G" over the pattern number "30." The teapot's hallmarks are slightly different than the other two pieces, including a left-facing rather than right-facing lion. [Providence, RI, circa 1860s]

Additional Details

Three pieces from Gorham Silver's renowned #30 design tea set, produced from 1857 onward. Mary Todd Lincoln received a deluxe 8-piece set of this design during her years in the White House, now held at the Smithsonian. They note that "it is likely the service was presented to the first lady as a gift from the citizens of New York."

These pieces have descended in the family of Gideon Welles, Lincoln's Secretary of the Navy. Mrs. Mary Jane Welles (1817-1886) was one of Mary Todd Lincoln's closest friends in Washington. According to family tradition, these pieces were ordered in conjunction with the Lincoln set together from Gorham.

Provenance: from the collection of Thomas Welles Brainard, great-great-grandson of Lincoln's Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles.