COLLECTION: Metals

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Whistle and Bells with Coral

1766-1771
Origin: England, London
L: 6 5/8"
Silver and coral
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1970-122
Label:Silver whistles fitted with bells and a coral for teething were a popular child's accessory from the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries. The 1706 will of Joseph White of Bruton Parish, York County, Virginia, mentions "One Silver Whissell Corrall & Bells." James Geddy, the Williamsburg silversmith, offered for sale imported "Corals and Bells" in the Virginia Gazette for June 4, 1772. They also appear in the listings of imported accessory items in the advertisements of Williamsburg milliners, such as Catherine Rathell ("Silver mounted chased and plain Corals and Bells" [May 14, 1772] and "chased and plain Corals and Bells" [October 22, 1772]), Sarah Packe Pitte ("silver...coral and bells" [October 15, 1772]), and Mary Dickinson ("silver corals and bells" [May 12, 1774]). Mrs. John Norton, wife of the owner of the London mercantile firm, John Norton & Sons, wrote in 1775 to her son in Yorktown, the firm's resident representative in Virginia, inquiring after her granddaughter, "Pray let me know if a Corral & Bells would be acceptable as I would send one by the next opportunity."
Provenance:Good & Hutchinson, Tolland, Massachusetts
Acquired by CWF in 1970.
Mark(s):Sponsor's mark for Jane Dorrell and Richard May only on underside of mouthpiece.