Joseph Richardson Sr. (1711–1784)

Philadelphia, 1740–50


Gift of Sewell C. Biggs; 1994.40

Joseph Richardson was part of a leading artisanal family in Philadelphia that included several generations of silversmiths. They and a few competitors supplied silver products to the entire region. In Delaware prior to 1750, these competitors included Wessel Alrichs and Johannis Nys. Alrichs worked in New Castle from around 1710 to 1726, and Nys worked in Kent County around 1723 to 1734. Covered drinking vessels became popular additions to American homes of this period and were a symbol of the owner’s wealth and prestige.