Silver Sugar Urn
Touch Marks of Charles Louis Boehme (1774-1868)
10 ¼” tall
Commentary: Charles Louis Boehme was “one of the best and most prolific silversmiths of his period” states Jennifer Goldsborough in Maryland Silver which catalogued the collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art (1975). Illustrated in the same catalogue is a “Covered Sugar Basin” ( Cat.81) that is very similar in form and proportions to our example. Another similar urn by Boehme appears in plate XIX of Maryland Silversmiths 1715-1830 by Pleasants and Sill.
The above mentioned reference provide an outline of Boehme’s career in Baltimore after arriving there from Philadelphia in 1799 and advertised his new shop at No. 15 Market Street. By 1805 Boehme could note in an advertisement that he had in his employ “several of the best workmen, some of whom have worked in the first manufactories in London” and that he offered for sale “of his own manufacturing, coffee and tea pots, sugar dishes, slop basins and cream ewers in sets.” It is not clear why Boehme gave up his business operations, which by all accounts seem to have been extensive, but in 1814 he applied to the Baltimore City Council for the job of Assayer stating that he was now “our of business.” The military and economic chaos brought on by the War of 1812 may have crippled his business or he closed for some other unknown reason but Boehme remained in Baltimore and was listed sporadically in city directories as a merchant or wine merchant. He died at the age of 93 leaving no descendants.
This sugar urn was found together with a tea pot of very similar style by George Aiken, also of Baltimore, and bearing an identical monograms WAC. The two pieces could have been ordered to form a set but from separate silversmiths or brought together at a later date when the monograms could have been added.
Condition: Period engraved initials. Excellent overall condition.