Round Footed Basket with Handle, about 1820
Harvey Lewis (1783–1835), Philadelphia (active about 1811–about 1827)
Silver , 9 3/4 in. high, 10 3/4 in. diameter
Marked and inscribed (with touches, twice, on the bottom): H. LEWIS; (with engraved monogram, on plaque on center of handle): MSR
EX COLL: M.S.R.; [Israel Switt, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1969]; to Mr. Charles Swain, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, until 2006; and by descent, until 2008
RECORDED: Katherine Morrison McClinton, “Collecting late classic American silver plate,” Auction IV (Nov. 1970), p. 46 illus., as in the collection of Charles V. Swain // Donald L. Fennimore, Silver & Pewter (New York: Alfred Knopf, 1984), no. 104 illus.
EXHIBITED: The Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland, 1993; Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, North Carolina, 1993–94; and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, 1994, Classical Taste in America, 1800–1840, pp. 179, 180 fig. 138 illus. in color
Harvey Lewis (1783–1835) was one of the best and most important American silversmiths of the Neo-Classical period. Working in Philadelphia, he was thus contemporaneous with the firm of Fletcher and Gardiner, Simon Chaudron, Anthony Rasch, and Edward Lownes, and contributed to the ascendancy of Philadelphia as the leading center for the silver trade at this time. Lewis was first in business with Joseph Smith, and operated as Lewis and Smith from 1805 to about 1810. He then worked alone until about 1827, when ill health appears to have brought his career as a silversmith to an end.