Society of the Cincinnati Tea Bowl and Saucer Made for and Owned by General Benjamin Lincoln, China, c. 1790, the side of the tea bowl and center of the saucer decorated with a depiction of the Order of Cincinnati in overglaze blue, green, red, brown, black, white, and gilding, the tea bowl decorated with the obverse side of the order on the front and the "BL" in red and gilt on the back, the saucer decorated with the reverse side of the order over the initials "BL" in red and gilt, both with black and gilt floral sprigs and scroll and line rim decoration, tea bowl ht. 2, dia. 3 1/2, saucer ht. 1 1/4, dia. 5 1/2 in.
Provenance: By direct descent from General Benjamin Lincoln, Hingham, Massachusetts, to the consignor. In 1952 twenty-eight pieces of this service were presented to the Concord Antiquarian Society, Concord, Massachusetts, by the sons and daughters of Dr. William Lincoln Smith whose great-great-grandfather was General Lincoln.
Note: General Lincoln's Society of Cincinnati tea service was one of seven similar sets commissioned by Samuel Shaw about 1790 for members of the Society.
Benjamin Lincoln (1733-1810) was born in Hingham, Massachusetts. He married Mary Cushing in 1756 and together they had eleven children. He served in the local militia and held several town offices prior to the American Revolution. With the outbreak of war, Lincoln oversaw militia organization and supply for the Massachusetts Provincial Congress. In January 1776, Lincoln was promoted to Major General in the Massachusetts Militia and commanded troops in New York, Vermont, and South Carolina. He served as Secretary of War from 1781 to the end of the war in 1783.
Both tea bowl and saucer with wear to gilt edge; saucer with very minor wear to enamel and gilt decoration; tea bowl with very minor wear to gilt "BL,' saucer with small areas of discoloration and a flaw in the making to the right of the eagle. No evidence of chips, cracks, or repair.
Items may have wear and tear, imperfections, or the effects of aging. Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.