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For Antiquesilver:Wilson set pics

Posted by cyn427 (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 2, 12 at 17:15

Here you are:

From Drop Box

From Drop Box

From Drop Box

From Drop Box

From Drop Box

From Drop Box

From Drop Box

I tried to get you some of the details. It is such lovely workmanship and one of my family treasures. Hope you enjoy looking. You can always email me if you want more history of it.

Cynthia


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: For Antiquesilver:Wilson set pics

Beautiful!! maybe all of us would like to know the history!!


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RE: For Antiquesilver:Wilson set pics

Stunning!!! Yes, I would also love to know the history. Thanks.


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RE: For Antiquesilver:Wilson set pics

Gladly, Linda-just didn't want to bore anyone.

My grandfather lived outside Philadelphia and was retired by the time my mother was born in 1923. He liked to go to auctions at Freeman's in Philadelphia where he bought art and furniture. It is possible that some of our Persian rugs were from there, too, but I am not sure of that. This set was engraved and apparently was made by the Wilsons for Sarah B. Van Syckel as a gift for her daughter Amanda. It probably dates from 1850s or possibly earlier. I haven't been able to find out too much about this particular set. My grandmother always thought it was rather sad that either Amanda's children or perhaps Amanda herself had to sell the tea service.

Granddad had a good eye and I was lucky enough to get this set, a bronze by Auguste Moreau, and a very unusual piece of art. These are three things I remember from the house my grandparents lived in after what we called "The Farm" which was their first house on 77 acres outside Philadelphia. They sold The Farm toward the end of the Depression after Granddaddy had paid mortgages for neighbors so they could keep their homes. He was a pretty amazing guy-taught himself Latin and Greek, even went west in a stagecoach as a very young man. I suspect he was not unlike those Eastern dandies they made fun of in the old tv westerns. :)

As a child, I always loved the sculpture and art. Had to grow up to really appreciate the silver. Mostly, I love the memories...


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RE: For Antiquesilver:Wilson set pics

OMG, that's spectacular - & museum worthy! I'm wiping drool off of my keyboard. Your grandfather had seriously good tastes, as you obviously know. Thank you so much for sharing this & the history.

For whatever reason, I was expecting flatware & when I opened the thread, my jaw dropped at seeing such a large & well preserved, as well as ornate, tea set. Is it marked 'coin' or something else? That might give a small clue as to the age but I suspect you're correct at pre-1850; the R&W Wilson name was used from 1825 to 1883.
Wow!


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RE: For Antiquesilver:Wilson set pics

And here they are:

Wednesday of last week Mrs. Hiram VanSyckle, of Wantage township, celebrated her one hundredth birthday. The century mark, a most remarkable event, was one of much interest to her relatives and friends. We are informed Mrs. VanSyckle is enjoying unusually good health, considering the number of years of her age. Her memory is excellent, recalling events of the past as quickly and clear as those many years her junior. In honor of the "old lady" this century mark was celebrated by a gathering of forty-five
relatives from this and distant states, at the old homestead in Wantage. In the assemblage were noted grand and great-grandchildren and relatives whose ages ran into the eighties. Besides the gathering of relatives during the day friends and neighbors called at the old homestead to pay their respects to Mrs. VanSyckle. Through the kindness of former Freeholder J. Marshall Banghart, of Green township, we have been furnished with the following list of relatives present in the number being 16 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren: Mrs. Electra Hibler of Stamford, CT aged 77 yrs; Marshall VanSyckle of Sussex Boro, aged 72 and wife Charlotte; Miss Amanda VanSyckle at home aged 69 years.

......[long list of descendants]

The old lady ate dinner with the forty-five at the table and later was photographed with a group out of doors by
C. E. Wilsom. Her maiden name was Baston and she was born in Quaker Settlement in Warren County."

Her NJ Herald obit dated Thursday March 6, 1919 states that Mrs. Sarah Van Syckle, nee Sarah Baston, was born 13 Sep 1816 in Oxford, Warren county. She married at age 19 to Hiram V. VanSyckle, lived for over 75 years in Wantage and died 28 Feb 1919 aged 102.

(I did not copy and paste the date given for the 100th birthday article because it is obviously wrong. The poster on this genealogy board mistakenly used the date of the 1919 obit for both newspaper articles.)

I love that Amanda had a sister named Electra Van Syckle.

Here is a link that might be useful: from Sussex Co NJ Rootsweb archives


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RE: For Antiquesilver:Wilson set pics

Which Wilson made it?


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RE: For Antiquesilver:Wilson set pics

Oh to have such good fortune. My hand-me-downs pale in comparison, but the "mother-memories" are just as rich. It is such a shame when such keepsakes are not kept in the family for whatever reason. My daughter looks upon some of my treasures, rolls her eyes, and says "m-o-t-h-e-r". I know she means well, but alas, I have photographed all my keepsakes (no matter how trivial they may be) and put the photos in a small album, documenting where, how, when, from whom, etc., so I think even if she's not into them, someone else in the family might be.

Thanks for the bit of history that goes with them.


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RE: For Antiquesilver:Wilson set pics

I have never seen such a beautiful silver set. Thanks for sharing the photos & history, Cyn. And great job on the sleuthing, cloudy_christine. So fun to imagine the household this set was in. Fascinating!


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RE: For Antiquesilver:Wilson set pics

justlinda, I agree. Documenting is so important! I have old photos that were never labeled and I so wish I knew who the people are. Your daughter will be glad one day that you went to all the trouble!

cloudychristine, wow. I had tried to find info before, but never thought to look in New Jersey. That has to be the family, but the dates don't quite jibe with the dates we have. It is possible that Sarah bought the set unengraved later and had it engraved. Perhaps she inherited it from her mother or it was given to her upon her marriage and then she passed it on to her daughter. You are good! I can't wait to look into this some more.

lindac, the set is stamped R&W Wilson. They were the brothers-Robert and William who worked in Philadelphia from around 1825-1850s. Their father was also a silversmith.

antiquesilver, there are no marks other than the names (R&W Wilson) and a small, perfectly circular indentation below the name. If there is a mark inside the circular depression, it is too small for me to see even with my glasses and a magnifying glass! I don't think there is anything, though.

Thanks again for all the kind words. Keep the ideas coming if you have more thoughts. It is hard to imagine what forced the family to let go of this set, but it has been treasured for many years by my family and I would like to think both Sarah and Amanda would be glad to know that.

Cynthia


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Cynthia, now that I'm in this deep (why do I do this?), tell me how the dates don't work. Sarah lived so long almost any date should! In September 1916 Amanda was 69, so she was born in in 1847, or in late 1846. I'd assumed that the silver was engraved as a wedding or engagement present, but we see she never married.
I think the "Baston" may be a mistake, either in the article or in the copying. I got obsessed and looked for them in early NJ; couldn't find any in a web search, and some searching in sources. Which isn't to say that there weren't any. But there are some Batsons. Gotta stop! It's one thing to get obsessed about tracking down my own ancestors in early New Jersey, and something else entirely to have to track down names on a silver pitcher....
Sarah lived long enough that New Jersey Vital Records will have death cetificate. Her maiden name should be on it, but the information on those is often unreliable, especially in the case of very old people.


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My bet is that old maid Amanda gave it to her mother as a birthday gift or possibly for an anniversary celebration. That's when it would have been engraved but it's quite possible the set pre-dates the occasion. It wasn't unusual to engrave antique silver.


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RE: For Antiquesilver:Wilson set pics

It's from mother Sarah to daughter Amanda.


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Funny, antiquesilver! No, it says it is from Sarah to her daughter. I think you are right about engraving old silver. If the Sarah that you found,cloudy christine, is the right one, her Amanda wouldn't have been old enough to receive something like this set while the Wilsons were still active (1820s-1850s). At the outside, she would have been around 13 years old in 1859. It would make sense, though, if it was bought earlier and engraved later.

You are right-why do we start this? I have been searching records all afternoon when I should be out in the yard. It is addictive! I did find another Sarah Van Syckle in NJ, but haven't traced children's names yet. Now, I am wondering why Amanda never married. Fiance killed in the Civil War perhaps? Getting in deeper and deeper...


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Okay, I admit it - I need my glasses changed! One thing that strikes me as strange is that the giver's name is larger than the recipient's. Maybe it originally belonged to Sarah who, at some point, bequeathed it to her daughter & had the "to her daughter Amanda" added to the engraving.

I used to do genealogy & it never ceases to be addictive.


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My mind just goes in all directions with stories like these. (Another genealogy nut.) As far as the family letting go of it...I wonder if it was not voluntary? As in hidden from looters/soldiers during the Civil War. (Well hidden where it remained in good shape.) My father told me stories of family that back then lived in Virginia, what would later become West Virginia during the war. Being a border state it was common to have brother fighting against brother, etc. Anyway, Dad told me about how families hid what was precious to them or of value. In my own family there are still lots of descendants in the area and a tale or two of buried possessions on land passed down through the generations. Maybe something like that happened, either hidden or taken during the war, and for reasons unknown never got back into Amanda's or the family's hands? A bit of stretch, I know, but something so beautiful certainly would be worth hiding...or stealing. Oh well, my mind really does wander, and this is particularly fascinating! :)


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I didn't think of the silver as that old, because of the ornateness of the design. Interesting, because I have a silver "May cup" from my husband's family with a similar style.


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If they did live near Philadelphia or in NJ, they wouldn't have had to worry about looters. I just always assumed that they had to be from the area for the set to end up at an auction attended by my grandfather, but maybe he bought it directly from the family at some point. I do know he traveled to NYC from time to time as well. Darn, I wish I had been old enough to ask him the history before he died!

We could come up with a great plot for a novel if we keep up with all this thinking! ;)


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RE: For Antiquesilver:Wilson set pics

Yes cyn, a novel indeed! I was coming from the mindset not so much of hindsight, but of those smack in the middle of the conflict not knowing what was to come. (Well trying to put myself there anyway.) But I've googled and read some and changed my mind now.

I can't see the engraving well, and see two different spellings of surname above, Van SyckEL and Van SyckLE. I'm so curious, searched Amanda at Rootsweb (my Ancenstry.com membership expired so am stuck from going further there). One hit is an Amanda Van Sickle b. abt 1855, Allegheny, PA. Much further west but puts the surname in the same state as your grandpa. But after reading more I'm stepping away from her, suspect she's a side trip, a distant relative of your Amanda. Though I didn't take time to figure that out. (You can see those search results here, it's the top hit.)

What I did find was a book in PDF format that contains the lineage cloudy_christine notes above. Written 1880, it spans over 150 years of by appearances a Dutch family. Documentation found in a Bible published in 1801 starts the tree in 1723. Spelling varies in the document from Vansyckel (earlier form) to Van Syckel. That family had an impressive history, one that would indicate wealth or a higher socioeconomic status; a "Supreme Judge" (item 89), an oil refining baron of sorts, his considered the best on the market, he moved his business from NJ to PA and shipped crude oil to NYC (item 96), a Princeton then NYU grad who became an MD in 1849, and more. Many of the pioneer variety who moved west in early to mid 1800s, to PA, IN, MI and CA.

Ok, so to the nitty gritty. Per item 59 in the document, Hiram Van Syckle married Sarah Betson Feb 28, 1835, had eight children, Amanda the fifth child b. June 4, 1847. Hiram was a farmer by occupation. Here is where it gets a little interesting. Two of their eight children died young: George about 5 yrs old and Harvey at 2 yrs old. So six remaining children lived to adulthood, four of them were daughters (I'm guessing gender on a couple based on unusual names). Item 213 starts with their children's marriages, but only mentions 5 of the remaining 6. No mention of Amanda. So she never married, as it also appears per cloudy's info above. (Also her death wasn't mentioned because she was still alive in 1880 when this was written.) Going on the premise this is your Amanda and her silver, it makes me wonder if there was something that caused Amanda to be perceived as 'not marriage material' in those times. Sarah didn't pass the set to her eldest daughter, or any daughter upon her marriage. So why would a mother of so many leave such a luxurious set to her only unmarried and female child? Could it have been some kind of insurance policy of sorts? A financial cushion for her later years if she should need it?

A couple more tidbits. Sarah Betson was an only child. I'm curious about her and what kind of family she came from. Here's where my mind wanders again. That silver set had to be pricey in its day. So likely her family gave it to her or Hiram's did. Hiram is noted as a farmer. I'm leaning more toward the land holding variety, given the other notable mentions in the family tree at the time. That could be off base, but unless Sarah was a rebel, I tend to think back then an only child from a family of some means is going to marry the same. As of 1880 Amanda was in her 30's, still living with both parents.

Fascinating reading. Even if it's the wrong family, lol. I actually saw my cousin's husband's surname way back in the PDF doc. Wish I could play more, but have to get to work.

Side note for all you genealogy buffs, the 1940 census was published online yesterday.

Here is a link that might be useful: PDF: Reinier Van Sickelen family


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Fascinating...I need to get hooked...may mother's family is very traceable being related to Cool. Wm Prescott and his cousin Samuel of Revolutionary war fame.


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The novel continues.......

...They were so wealthy, a tea set (albeit a very expensive one) didn't matter to them - a mere trinket! The daughter lived at home so Mother gave it to her after she (Sarah) became feeble from age & Amanda had to take on the entertaining duties expected of someone of their importance. And no woman of means could possibly be expected to serve guests with another's name on the tea pot....


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...and those ungrateful, scheming older siblings who never had time to even visit old Sarah, let alone take the time to sit down for tea, would have absconded with the silver had she not put sweet Amanda's name on the set...


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