Coin Silver Soup Ladle, William Purse, Charleston, SC, Working 1785 - Circa 1825
Engraved "LAM", possibly for Colonel Lewis V. Morris and his wife Ann Elliott.
It is unclear if William Purse was born in Charleston or if he immigrated to the Holy City as a young child. He is first recorded as a silversmith when he stood surety for the school master/silversmith, Amos Pilsbury, in 1798. According to Ensko, Purse plied his trade at 112 Broad Street until 1803. Later, he worked at 117 Broad Street, 96 Broad Street and 58 Broad Street. In 1810, Purse and fellow silversmith, Peter Mood, Sr., served as one of the administrators for the estate of silversmith John Meurset. He married Elizabeth Hammett on May 1, 1793, and achieved respect within the community, being appointed as administrator/executor of numerous estates. Purse also served as a lieutenant in the 1st Battalion of the 28th Regiment, Forrester Light Infantry. He succumbed to catarrhal fever in December 1844 and interred in St. Philip's Church cemetery.
Few pieces by Purse exist.
13 3/4" length, 5.21 troy ounces.