Hamlin, Samuel – pewterer

A pewter plate by Samuel Hamlin

p4A ItemID E8843779
A pewter bedpan dated 1816 by Samuel Hamlin

p4A ItemID E8843769
A pewter charger by Samuel Hamlin

p4A ItemID E8843738
A pair of pewter plates by Samuel Hamlin

p4A ItemID F7993656

Samuel Hamlin (1746 to 1801)

Hamlin, originally from Middlesex, Connecticut apprenticed as a pewterer to Thomas Danforth in Hartford, Connecticut in 1760, following which he moved to Providence and operated a shop on Long Warf from 1771 until 1774. From that date he partnered with Gershon Jones, another noted Rhode Island pewterer, until 1781 when a lawsuit ended their association.

Hamlin was a member of a small but influential band of craftsmen who worked in Providence. A cover article in Antiques and the Arts Weekly, September 10, 2004, “Pewter: Williamsburg Pewter Collection” contains the following quote “After serving his apprenticeship in Middletown, Connecticut, Hamlin introduced the flower-type of handle to Rhode Island.”

Samuel Hamlin Sr. was succeeded in business by his son, Samuel Hamlin Jr. (circa 1801 to 1856). His name appears in the Providence Directory for 1824.

Of all the pewterers of the period, Samuel Hamlin and George Caldwell alone share the peculiarity of never having made eight-inch plates. For the rest, everything that he did produce was characteristic of the best output of the pewterers trained in the old traditions of the craft. His specialty appears to have been porringers and basins, and it is said Hamlin produced about half of the marked pieces documented in these forms.

Hamlin’s identification marks are varied; his normal mark is a name-touch reminiscent of the late eighteenth-century style, and he affected the use of hallmarks. Three eagle touches were used mostly on his porringer handles, hallmarks were used on his large plates and dishes, and the hard metal mark with name-touch was used on rare superior quality nine-inch plates. Hamlin’s name-touch is habitually used on all his flatware and basins.

Reference note by p4A editorial staff; updated April, 2012.


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