All Posts

Unpacking Memories

A teapot, sugar bowl, and creamer passed down through the Pell family. The teapot was made by J & A Simmons, silversmiths active in New York City between 1802 and 1814.
A teapot, sugar bowl, and creamer passed down through the Pell family. The teapot was made by J & A Simmons, silversmiths active in New York City between 1802 and 1814.
A selection of the Pavilion silver waiting to be photographed, from newer pieces made by Tiffany and the Gorham Manufacturing Company to teapots passed down through many generations of the Gibbs and Pell families.
A selection of the Pavilion silver waiting to be photographed, from newer pieces made by Tiffany and the Gorham Manufacturing Company to teapots passed down through many generations of the Gibbs and Pell families.

Last week marked the beginning of the second push to catalog silver in the Pavilion Collection. While physical distancing altered our approach from a team of five down to two, we have been able to make significant progress in just a few days. Wearing masks and working across the room in the offsite storage facility to unpack boxes, verify inventory numbers against the records created in 1994, number the objects, photograph them, and rehouse them into archival boxes is also a welcome change of pace from working at a computer screen.

Unpacking these objects revealed a few surprises. One wooden box contained envelopes of monogrammed flatware with details about the initials and likely date and place of manufacture.

Flatware descended through various branches of the Pell family including the Howlands, Hazards, McClures, Eteens, Pells, and Gibbs.
Flatware descended through various branches of the Pell family including the Howlands, Hazards, McClures, Eteens, Pells, and Gibbs.

These objects descended through many different branches of museum co-founders Stephen and Sarah Pell’s families including the Howlands and Hazards on the Pell side through Stephen’s grandmother Mary Rodman Howland. Unpacking the leather traveling cases revealed a box of daguerreotypes beneath jewelry and commemorative medals. Sarah made a note on the lid of the box to document that these are images of Gibbs and Thompson family members but that most are unlabeled and therefore unknown.

 

As work on the Pavilion collection continues, stay tuned here and on Fort Ticonderoga’s Facebook page for updates on the restoration, new discoveries, and more from Fort Ticonderoga every week!