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Cornelius C. Moore papers

Scope & content

The correspondence and research which comprise this collection reveal the effort and time spent by Cornelius C. Moore to accumulate one of the foremost silver collections from the American colonial period.

Moore, an ardent collector, understood the educative element of the collection, and was thorough in his study of each silversmith and object produced. Although Moore was primarily interested in Rhode Island silver pieces, he appreciated the craftsmanship and historical importance of silver produced in other colonies. His dedication in amassing an array of American silver led to his acquisition of work from prominent colonial silversmiths, including Paul Revere, Myer Myers, Arnold Collins, John Edwards, Samuel Casey, Samuel Vernon, and Jonathan Otis.

Included are photographs of the silver, which are the work of Mr. Brian Pelletier. Mr. Moore commissioned Pelletier to photograph the collection in order to compile a catalog for educative purposes. Moore also directed Mr. Hugh J. Gourley III to write descriptive analyses of each piece, but after Mr. Moore’s death, Mr. Gourely other commitments impeded him from completing the project. Pelletier and Gourely’s initial work became the foundation for American Silver 1670-1830: The Moore Collection at Providence College published by Providence College and the Rhode Island Bicentennial Foundation. Created by a Providence College senior seminar on art historical research methods (1978-1979), the work catalogues each piece from the Cornelius C. Moore silver collection according to geographical and chronological order.