This magnificent soup ladle was acquired about 1800 by Kingston merchant and trader Robert Macaulay (1744-1800) and his wife Ann Kirby Macaulay (1770-1850). It was made by Montreal silversmith Robert Cruikshank. Cruikshank was active in Montreal from 1773 to 1809 as both a merchant in the hardware business and a silversmith. An Englishman who emigrated to Boston in 1767, Cruikshank arrived in Montreal in 1773 where he operated a large silver-smithing business with several apprentices, producing Indian trade silver for the Northwest Company and other fur traders, as well as domestic and church wares. Macaulay and Cruikshank may have known each other as hardware merchants. Macaulay prospered as a forwarder moving goods up and down Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.