Coffeepot Maker: Paul Revere (American, 1735–1818)

1769

American Decorative Arts

On view, 1st floor, American Decorative Arts before 1900

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.

Medium

Silver

Dimensions

9 7/8 × 8 1/2 × 4 3/4 in. (25.08 × 21.59 × 12.07 cm), 28 oz., 10 dwt. (887 gm)

Credit Line

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

Accession Number

2016.158.1

Culture
Period

18th century

Classification
Disclaimer

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 records is ongoing.

Provenance

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
  • American Art: Selections from the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2023), 70–71, no. 19, ill
  • Patricia E. Kane, "A Coffeepot by Paul Revere," Yale University Art Gallery Magazine (Fall 2017), 14, ill
  • "Acquisitions July 1, 2016–June 30, 2017," Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (December 1, 2017), 9
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

coffeepots

Marks

".REVERE" stamped on body near upper handle socket and on underside

Technical metadata and APIs

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