Pair of Dutch silver sugar casters

  • Strooibussen tieleman Sluyter, Amsterdam, 1712
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Pair of Dutch silver sugar casters

Attributed to Tieleman Sluyter van Deventer (Maker’s mark TS)

Amsterdam, 1712

647 grams in total; 18 cm high


This fine and early pair of Dutch silver baluster-shaped sugar casters on circular bases is engraved with the coats-of-arms of Borgerink-Hagedoorn. The high domed covers, pierced with stylised floral scrolls are surmounted by bell-shaped finials. Fully marked at the reverse of the body and displaying assay stripes.


The coats-of-arms are those of Anthony Borgerink and Anna Cunera Hagedoorn. The couple married in Twello on 14 June 1712, the year in which these casters were made. It is likely this pair of silver casters was intended as a wedding present. The couple had three daughters and two sons. Deventer-based Anthony Borgerink was a busy man with two professions. He was a surveyor of the ter Hunnepe estate and a judge in Oldenzaal, where he also owned a house. In 1749 he lived in his house in Polstraat in Deventer with his spouse and four unmarried children. At that time he was 75 years old and his spouse 62 years old. Besides these houses he was the owner of other real estate in Twente, farms in Berghuizen and near Deurningen. Judge Borgerink died at ‘Havesate Cattelaer’ in Enter and was buried on 12 October 1752 in Deventer. Anthony had inherited ‘Havezate Cattelaer” from his father Herman Borgerink, who had purchased it in 1685.


Tieleman Sluyter from Deventer has not been recorded in literature as an Amsterdam silversmith yet. Not even after the publication of ‘Amsterdamse zilversmeden en hun merken’ by Mr K.A. Citroen in 1975, when data were added. In neither of those data Tieleman Sluyter, the silversmith, is mentioned. However, his name appears in J.R. ter Molen’s publication Deventer Zilver, in 1997. On page 102 it is stated some silversmiths left Deventer, in order to work in other cities. Mr. K.A. Citroen provided this information. According to the data in the Citroen files it is indeed Tieleman Sluyter who is described. In Citroen’s notes after 1975, he attributed maker’s mark ‘TS in a rectangle’ to Tielman Sluyter from The Hague. He adopted the data recorded in E. Voet’s Merken van Haagsch Goud- en Zilversmeden, and he assumed that Tieleman Sluyter had worked in Amsterdam for only a short period.


Indeed a Tielman Sluyter was registered at the Hague silversmiths’ guild on 30 May 1701. In literature he is recorded as a young man from Zutphen, not from Deventer, who officially stated his intention to marry Maria van der Veer from Gorkum on 30 September 1691. Furthermore, it is recorded that Hendrik van Stocking had worked for Tielman as an apprentice for seven years. Tielman Sluyter died on 17 January 1729. Citroen added some other data about Tielman, namely that he was born in 1655 into the reformed family, his father Hendrik Sluyter, a wine merchant, and Claesken van Halle, his mother. Silversmith Tielman Sluyter was a so-called ‘service and flatware’ worker.


Citroen’s data, which were adopted by Ter Molen, are both rather confusing and clarifying at the same time, indicating that there might have been two persons with the same name. In this case, uncle and nephew, who were named after their grandfather and great-grandfather Tielman Sluyter (born ca. 1600) respectively. Both uncle and nephew became silversmiths, the one in The Hague, the other in Amsterdam.


Their ancestor was Albert Sluyter, born ca. 1558, Mayor of Borculo. During Albert’s second marriage with Maria Telmans their third child Tielman Sluyter was born (ca.1600). Between 1625 and 1641 Tielman married three times. During his first marriage his son Herman was born in Neede on 14 September 1628.


Herman married twice, for the first time in Zutphen in 1651 with Claesken van Halle, daughter of Barthold van Halle and Jacoba van Trier. Their first son, born in 1651 and christened on 22 October 1651, was called Bartholdt Sluyter. Their third child, born in Zutphen in 1655 and christened on 25 November 1655, was called Tielman Sluyter.


This Tielman Sluyter, who married Maria van der Veer in The Hague in 1691, became a silversmith in The Hague. He died in December 1729. His elder brother Bartholdt married Maria Bloemendaals, daughter of Harmen Bloemendaal, in Deventer on 4 June 1678. Their third child, Tieleman Sluyter was christened in Deventer on 12 June 1684.


Tieleman Sluyter from Deventer was officially registered in the Amsterdam ‘poorterboek’ on 8 May 1711, which means he became burgher (citizen) of Amsterdam. His profession ‘silversmith’ was registered together with his name. It is likely that Tieleman was trained as a silversmith in his uncle’s workshop in The Hague, who was his namesake. After his apprenticeship, at the age of 26, Tieleman might have left The Hague for Amsterdam. In 1711, he also might have been admitted to the Amsterdam silversmiths’ guild.


On 19 November 1717 Tieleman Sluyter from Kloveniersburgwal married Cornelia van Eemst, his mother Maria Bloemendaals serving as his attestor. His father had already died in Deventer in 1696.


Cornelia van Eemst, daughter of Roeloff van Eemst (1654-1714), a jeweller at Reguliersgracht by his wife Abigael de Vries (1661-1697) was a prosperous orphan at the time of her marriage. Tieleman and Cornelia had several children, of whom two died in their infancy. Their son Hermanus, christened on 25 December 1722, and another child outlived them. On 20 September 1731 the Amsterdam silversmith Tieleman Sluyter was buried from the Oude Zijds Chapel. It is recorded in ’het begraafboek’ (burial book) that at the time of his death Tieleman Sluyter lived at Oude Zijds Voorburgwal and that he still had two under-aged children.


Silver objects, struck with maker’s mark ‘TS in rectangle’ and with the Amsterdam hallmark, which can be attributed to Tieleman Sluyter from Deventer, are: these silver sugar casters (1712), a water kettle (1716), a pepper caster (1717), a pair of Thora finials (Rimonim) (1725). The casters and water kettle have been modelled after Hague examples, stylistically reflecting the oeuvre of uncle Tielman Sluyter from The Hague. This supports the assumption that the Amsterdam silversmith Tieleman Sluyter was trained by his uncle in The Hague, whose oeuvre comprises distinguished silver objects, such as candlesticks, chocolate pots, dishes, medals and a monteith bowl with the coat-of-arms of Van Byland.  The Thora finials (Rimonim), by the Amsterdam master Tieleman Sluyters, seem to be the odd ones out in his oeuvre. However, Tieleman has delivered those Rimonim, because Jewish silversmiths were not admitted to the guild at that time. Both in Amsterdam and in Deventer a large Jewish community existed in the eighteenth century.


Tieleman Sluyter (from Deventer) and Deventer-based Anthony Borgerink, confessed the same reformed faith. Silversmith and commissioner will have known each other very well. The Sluyter family, both in Zutphen and in Deventer, brewers and wine merchants, moved within the same social circles as the Borgerink family. This way these Amsterdam silver sugar casters in Hague style came into the possession of judge Borgerink and his family. This fabulous armorial engraved pair of Amsterdam silver casters will probably have been one of the first commissions for Tieleman Sluyter in his new residence.


For more information, click here



-Christie’s Amsterdam, 27 november 1990, lot 1027

-A. Aardewerk, Den Haag (1991)

-Particuliere collectie, Nederland


Associate literature:

-E. Voet Jr., Merken van Haagsche Goud- en Zilversmeden, Den Haag, 1941

-K.A. Citroen, Amsterdamse zilversmeden en hun merken, Amsterdam, 1975

-Catalogus Oude Kunst- en Antiekbeurs, Prinsenhof Delft, editie 43, 1991