Four Tablespoons

Duncan Beard (unknown-1797)

ca. 1750


Museum purchase

Duncan Beard was a notable silversmith and clock maker in Odessa, Delaware. In the state’s 1790 censuses, Beard’s profession is listed as “silversmith,” though these four spoons are exceptionally rare surviving examples of his work; however many of his clock faces and movements are known and have sold at auction for record prices. The Biggs’ acquisition of these four spoons ranks us among the largest collectors of Beard’s silverwork in a public collection.

For Further Thinking: Do you think it’s important to collect different kinds of works done by the same artist? Why or why not?