Handled Basket, about 1832–35
Baldwin Gardiner (1796–1869), New York (active in New York, 1827–47)
Silver, 9 5/8 in. high, 12 1/2 in. long, 9 15/16 in. wide
Signed and inscribed (with touches, twice, on the bottom): B · GARDINER; (with engraving, within cartouche at center of handle): Ann Bunker
Weight: 53.9 oz
Baldwin Gardiner was an important importer, retailer, and sometimes manufacturer of household goods. In 1815 he married Louise-Leroy Veron, sister of Louis Veron, with whom he was in business in Philadelphia from 1817 to 1826 as a retailer of household wares. In 1827, Gardiner left Philadelphia and set up a "furnishings warehouse" at 149 Broadway, New York, where he remained in business until 1836, before relocating first to 39 Nassau Street in the fall of that year, and then to California in 1848.
This stunning handled basket of outstanding quality was probably made in Gardiner’s shop about 1835, which is suggested by the lobed bowl and the exuberant border consisting of shells, acanthus leaves, and gadrooning, which anticipates a more florid style of mid-century.