Family tradition relates that descending within the family was a gold soup tureen that
was brought here from the old country. It has been suggested that it was a wedding gift
to our immigrant ancestors. Unlike many family traditions, this tureen appears to be real.
It has been written about in three distinct sources:
1) Described in the Horsley-Easley Bible (cir. 1840-1880):
Maj. Wm. DuVal's daughter, Mrs. Adams, saw a family relic, a gold tureen which had the
Arms of the DuBois & DuVals intertwined. A lily surrounded by thorns and the motto
'Lillia inter pinas'. Many reliable and prominent men have seen the tureen heirloom
of the DuVals which descended to Samuel DuVal, then to his oldest son, Maj. Wm D.,
then to his daughter. On the outside was engraved the blooded Arms of DuBois and
DuVal. It was handed down to the oldest child, Mrs. Price, and now in Philadelphia, Pa.
2) Bessie Grabowskii included in her book a description of it by Dr. William P. Palmer
(cir. 1850) of Richmond, Va.:
It had surmounting the top a tuft of lilies and thorns,
with the motto lilia inter Pinas, and also bore the coat of arms. It was kept in a
red morocco case with a red velvet lining." He remembered it being shown to him when
as a boy he went with his mother to visit a Mrs. DuVal in Richmond, Virgina. When
last heard of it was in the possession of one James Price, a lawyer, who went to Ohio
to live, and who was a great grandson of Maj. William DuVal of Richmond, but all
trace of it has now been lost.
3) From Nellie Howard Gillian we have an excerpt of a letter with a description:
I, too, have heard about the gold tureen often. It was last heard of in Austin,
Texas, having descended to William Price, son of Cousin Marcia DuVal Price.
William married a northern woman... After cousin William Price's death she
sold all of the family silver and the tureen by private sale, and returned to
her home in the north. None of the family knew of the sale and have never
known who bought the silver and the tureen.
This account by Mrs. Gillean seems to be the most accurate. The northern
woman was Achsah Catherine "Kate" Starr. After the death of William Price
she married Otto H. Woehsner a hatter in Austin, Texas where they were
living in 1880. They later moved to Cleveland, Ohio. The question is did
it go to Cleveland, Ohio or remain in Austin, Texas?
Discussion: The soup tureen would have been the size and shape of what
we now know as a large covered vegetable dish with legs. Described as a
gold tureen it could have been a solid silver item that was gilded
(washed with gold). Having its own velvet lined, leather covered case
attests to its worth, even when it was new. Soup tureens are a
distinctively French innovation appearing in the 1690's which is
in keeping with both our French family heritage and the approximate
marriage date of Daniel Duval. Although recorded that engraved upon
the tureen was our quartered coat-of-arms with the motto: Lillia inter
pinas it is more correctly: Lilium Inter Spinas meaning
"Lily Among Thorns" and has its origins in Solomon's Song of Songs.
This motto and subsequent various crests have a very ancient and
varied history. The French fleur-de-lis or "flower of the Lily"
is synonymous with the Lily in the motto.
The tureen may have looked similar to the one above. This example from
London, England is of Huguenot origin. If anyone has ANY idea where the
descendants of Daniel DuVal might search for this item please e-mail:
Joseph Stephen Hays
Updated 10 April 2014