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American Decorative Arts
Maker: Paul Revere, American, 1735–1818

Coffeepot

1769

Silver

9 7/8 × 8 1/2 × 4 3/4 in. (25.08 × 21.59 × 12.07 cm)
Purchased with gifts from Stephen S. Lash, B.A. 1962, and the Estate of Dr. Joseph V. and Eleanor M. Medeiros and with the Josephine Setze Fund for the John Marshall Phillips Collection; Friends of American Arts Acquisition Fund; Leonard C. Hanna, Jr., Class of 1913, Fund; Peter B. Cooper, B.A. 1960, LL.B. 1964, M.U.S. 1965, and Field C. McIntyre American Decorative Arts Acquisition Fund; Mr. and Mrs. Frank J. Coyle, LL.B. 1943, Fund; Lisa Koenigsberg, M.A. 1981, M.Phil. 1984, Ph.D. 1987, and David Becker, B.A. 1979, Fund; and Friends of American Arts Decorative Arts Acquisitions Fund
2016.158.1
On March 4, 1769, Epes Sargent II ordered this coffeepot from the Boston silversmith Paul Revere. Their interaction is recorded in one of Revere’s daybooks: Sargent supplied most of the silver, and Revere charged him four pounds for making the pot, sixteen shillings for adding the engraving, and four pence for sourcing and attaching the wooden handle. Aside from being particularly well documented, this coffeepot is one of the few pieces of colonial silver to retain its original handle. The swelled belly, scrolling spout and handle, and stepped lid demonstrate Revere’s growing knowledge of the exuberant rococo style that was newly fashionable among Boston’s elite. The masterfully engraved arms, surrounded by an asymmetrical cartouche, represent both the Sargent and Osborne families. Epes Sargent II was a merchant based in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and married to Catherine Osborne, the daughter of John Osborne of Boston. Impaled arms, which combine two families’ arms side by side in a single design, are rare in American silver, and their use on this coffeepot suggests that Osborne brought considerable means to the marriage.
Geography: 
Made in Boston, Massachusetts
Status: 
On view
Culture: 
American
Period: 
18th century
Classification: 
Containers - Metals
Provenance: 

Epes Sargent, Jr. (1721–1779) and Catherine Osborne Sargent (1722- 1788), Gloucester, Massachusetts; by descent to their son Epes Sargent III (1748–1822), Gloucester, Massachusetts, then New Hampshire, then Boston; by descent to his daughter Mrs. John Dixwell (nee Esther Sargent, 1776–1865), Boston; by descent to her son Epes Sargent Dixwell (1807–1894), Cambridge, Massachusetts; by descent to his daughter Mrs. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (née Fanny Bowditch Dixwell, 1840–1929), Boston and Washington, D.C.; by descent to her sister Mrs. George Wigglesworth (née Mary Catherine Dixwell, 1855–1951) Boston; by descent to her daughter Mrs. Lloyd Thornton Brown (née Marian Epes Wigglesworth, 1884–1973), Milton, Massachusetts; by descent to her daughter Ruth Brown; by sale to her brother Thornton Brown (1913–2000) Milton, Massachusetts; by gift to the Brown Family Nominee Trust, 1996

Bibliography: 

Patricia E. Kane, “A Coffeepot by Paul Revere,” Yale University Art Gallery Magazine (Fall 2017): 14, ill.

“Acquisitions July 1, 2016–June 30, 2017,” https://artgallery.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/bulletin/Pub-Bull-acquisitions-2017.pdf (accessed December 1, 2017).

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.