Rare AMERICAN (Boston) Bronze Posnet (Long-Handled Skillet)
Engraved “Boston” on the handle-end, and deeply, crisply, cast “AUSTIN & CROCKER”, all within an engraved vine border. Samuel Austin and Robert Crocker were only in business together in 1793-1794, so we can date this piece very confidently. Prior to the Revolution, and even for some years afterward, much of the finished brass/bronze objects used in early American were imported from England, so 18th century American-made posnets are rare. A passionate collector of American posnets was Howard Roth. I had the great fortune to meet up with Howard minutes after he had just discovered this piece; he was as so excited to show it to me and to relate how rare Boston examples are. Superbly made, robust to last centuries. 17 5/8 inches long x 7 5/8 tall. See METALWORK IN EARLY AMERICAN (Winterthur Collection), Fennimore, page 71, for another by Austin and Crocker which appears identical in form and size. Provenance: Howard Roth; Private New England collection.