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Gallery Text

A Legacy of Generosity and Service: Daniel A. Pollack (1939–2019)

Daniel A. Pollack (Harvard College A.B. ’60, University of Oxford M.A. ’62, Harvard Law School LL.B. ’65) pursued his education and passions with remarkable aplomb. One of the foremost trial lawyers in the United States, he also painted watercolors and collected early American paintings and silver. He served on many boards and advisory groups for the Harvard Art Museums, including as longtime chair of the American Art committee until his death. This arcade gallery bears his name along with his wife’s, Susan F. Pollack (Harvard College A.B. ’64, Harvard Law School LL.B. ’67), as a testament to their unflagging support of art and art education.

In 2020, Susan Pollack made a transformative gift of her husband’s collection of 18th-century American silver, to honor his life and his support of American art at Harvard. Most of the works from the gift are in the neighboring case. Six works of ecclesiastical silver are on view in the silver cabinet (Gallery 2340) on this floor. We are grateful for Daniel Pollack’s legacy of generosity and service, which has allowed us to tell a nuanced and hemispheric story of design, global luxury, international trade, and labor.

[2020.185, 2020.188, 2020.190, 2020.191, 2020.192, 2020.193, 2020.196, 2020.198, 2020.199, 2020.201, 2020.202, 2020.204]

Identification and Creation
Object Number
William Cowell Sr., American (Boston 1682 - 1736 Boston)
Pepper Box
Work Type
Creation Place: North America, United States, Massachusetts, Boston
Persistent Link
Level 2, Room 2410, South Arcade
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Physical Descriptions
9.8 cm (3 7/8 in.)
60 g
Inscriptions and Marks
  • monogram: base, engraved: A / I.M. [likely the monogram of James and Mary Avery]
  • monogram: base, engraved: AEY
  • maker's mark: base, stamped: [pellet, star, pellet] / WC / [pellet] [mark of William Cowell Sr.]
  • maker's mark: on body, stamped: [pellet, star, pellet] / WC / [pellet] [mark of William Cowell Sr.]
Probably James and Mary (nee Willet) Avery, Boston, 18th century. [1] Sold [through Christie's, New York, January 17, 2008, lot 164]. Daniel and Susan Pollack, gift; to Harvard Art Museums, 2020

[1] The monogram is likely that of James and Mary Avery based on a cup by Cowell ll with the same monogram descended from them. See Patricia Kane, "Colonial Massachusetts Silversmiths and Jewelers: A Biographical Dictionary based on the Notes of Francis Hill Bigelow & John Marshall Phillips" (1998), p. 351
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, The Pollack Collection, gift of Daniel A. Pollack AB ’60 and Susan F. Pollack AB ’64
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art
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Cylindrical body, a scroll handle with a beaded rattail. The cover is pierced with a finial.
Publication History

Important American Silver, auct. cat., Christie's, New York (New York, January 17, 2008), p. 135, lot 164, repr.

Jeanne Sloane, Early American Silver in the collection of Daniel A. Pollack, Privately Published (Boston [?], 2019), cat. no. 9, repr.

Exhibition History

32Q: 2410 South Arcade, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 07/25/2022 - 01/01/2050

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