Four Silver Christening Cups (081105_007)

Four Silver Christening Cups

Makers: Two coin silver cups, J DRAPER, (1832–1856)
A coin silver cup, E & D KINSEY, (1844–1861)
A silver-plated cup, maker unknown, 1880

4¾” tall, 6¼” across the handles

Ref. No. 081105_007

$8,700- for the four

The three coin silver cups are engraved Ninth St. Baptist Church Constituted Nov. 9th 1830, the plated example engraved the same except bearing the date 1880. A coin silver christening cup is seldom encountered in Midwestern decorative arts. The Draper coin silver examples are probably the earliest, followed by the Kinsey example when the church and the silversmithing firm both grew to prominence. Engravings on all the cups are the same (with the exception of the 1880 date on the plated example) with the exclusion of idiosyncratic nuances. The Draper cups’ nuances are identical, but do not match the other two, suggesting they were commissioned as a pair. This would indicate three periods for these vessels being ordered by the church. The earliest commission would have been in or after 1836 when the former Ninth Street Baptist Church, constituted in 1830, purchased land to satisfy the greatly expanded congregation continuously served by the Reverend S.W. Lynd. The following year a new church with a name reflecting their latest location was erected on 3rd Street in Cincinnati. From the humble worship by 19 founders in the City Hall chambers in 1830, the church grew to 200 worshipers by 1831 when the Original and Regular First Baptist Church of Cincinnati joined the congregation. By 1845 the congregation had swelled to 764 parishioners, the same year Reverend Lynd left for St. Louis.

These cups of substantial weight are in excellent, near pristine condition. Shaped and sized as a pint cann of the late 18th century, but with the addition of a second opposing handle. A typical beaker (julep cup) of the period will allow a little more than half the capacity of a cup from this group. These examples, by three different makers from Cincinnati, are a testament to the versatility of the area’s crafts trade. The maker furnishing the original design was twice copied by different smithys with a can-do mentality.