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  • American Skippet
    American Skippet
  • General Josiah Harmar
    General Josiah Harmar
  • Appeal to the Great Spirit
    Appeal to the Great Spirit
  • Hong Punch Bowl
    Hong Punch Bowl
  • Barter for a Bride
    Barter for a Bride
 
  • Artist/MakerRevere II, Paul (1734-1818)
  • Date Madec. 1796
  • Place MadeUSA: Massachusetts, Boston
  • MaterialsMetals; Silver
  • Measurements6 1/8" h. ; stand 7 3/8" l.
  • Funds donated in honor of Gail F. Serfaty, Director of the Diplomatic Reception Rooms 1995-2007 by the Friends of  the Diplomatic Reception Rooms
  • RoomThe John Quincy Adams State Drawing Room
  • Accession #1991.0035.001, 1991.0035.002

Teapot and Stand

This teapot and stand is one of approximately fourteen sets to survive from Paul Revere’s shop.[1]  In a letter to his agent in England, Frederick William Geyer, Revere mentions that:  “They enclosed me in the case of plated ware a book with drawings which is a very good direction for one to write by.”[2]  Kathryn C. Buhler lists four teapots with shaped panels bordered by fluted sections made by Revere between 1786 and 1789 that closely resemble a teapot illustrated in the ca. 1785 trade catalogue of Love, Silverside, Darby & Co., of Sheffield, England.[3]  Although the fluted form of this pot is a design attributed to Revere, it was produced by other Boston silversmiths such as Benjamin Burt, and undoubtedly was inspired by imported Sheffield plated wares and pattern book illustrations.   
Revere’s daybooks reveal that the silversmith made only nine teapots before the Revolution, and more than fifty teapots during the last two decades of the eighteenth century.  As Deborah A. Federhen has observed, this increase in production, while attributable to a renewed affluence among his patrons, also suggests that the flatting mill that Revere acquired in 1785 enabled him engage in more efficient production practices.  Unlike his earlier pear-shaped teapots that were raised from flat ingots, teapots of this fluted design were made from sheet silver that was formed around wooden patterns and then seamed.[4]
The initials JH within the cartouche on both the teapot and the stand are for Judith, the eldest daughter of Moses Michael Hays and his wife Rachel Myers Hays.  Judith married Samuel Myers, her first cousin and son of the New York silversmith Myer Myers, in 1796.  Judith and Samuel Myers settled in Richmond, Virginia, where Samuel Myers established a successful mercantile firm in partnership with his half-brothers Moses Mears Myers and Samson Mears Myers.[5]  The teapot and stand descended in the family until acquired by the Collection.[6]
 
Barbara McLean Ward
Notes
 
1. Kane 1998, 837-40 (Deborah A. Federhen entry on Paul Revere, Jr.).
 
2. As quoted in Deborah A. Federhen, “From Artisan to Entrepreneur:  Paul Revere’s Silver Shop Operation,” in Paul Revere—Artisan, 85.

3. Buhler 1970, 430–31; Federhen, “From Artisan to Entrepreneur,” in Paul Revere—Artisan, 86; see also 156–57.
 
4. Federhen, “From Artisan to Entrepreneur,” in Paul Revere—Artisan, 75–82.
 
5. Barquist 2001, 238–39.   The couple also inherited family silver that included torah finials made by Myer Myers and later inscribed “Hays & Myers,” perhaps for Samuel and Judith.  Their granddaughter, Caroline Hays Cohen, donated the finials to the Touro Synagogue in 1892 (Barquist 2001, 198–200).
 
6.  The objects were acquired through a partial purchase from direct descendants and through the gift of a one-third interest in them from the Talley family.

 

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