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

Teapot

ca. 1795

Silver

6 × 3 1/2 × 11 3/8 in. (15.2 × 8.9 × 28.9 cm)
Mabel Brady Garvan Collection
1930.959
In making his fluted teapots, Paul Revere successfully wed technology and the aesthetics of the then-emerging Neoclassical style. The flutes evoke a classical column, but at the same time they add strength and stability to the sheet-silver walls of the vessel. The engraving is used imaginatively, with tassels and swags played off against the fabriclike creases. The design of the teapot probably did not originate with Revere and may have been suggested to him by wares he imported from England. English examples identical in almost every detail are known. Revere exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit displayed by many Americans in the early years of political independence following the American Revolution. Revere acquired a plating mill in 1785 that enabled him to produce sheet silver, the material used in the fabrication of this teapot. His shop records show that in the post-Revolutionary period he made fewer hollowware forms, but the flatware forms proliferated and many more objects were made overall. Standardization of forms and new technology fueled this increase in production.
Geography: 
Made in Boston, Massachusetts
Status: 
On view
Culture: 
American
Period: 
18th century
Classification: 
Containers - Metals
Provenance: 

Francis P. Garvan, New York, to 1930; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

Bibliography: 

The Massachusetts Colonial Loan Exhibit at the Jamestown Ter-Centennial Exposition, 1607–1907, exh. cat. (Boston: Wright and Potter Printing Company, 1907), no. 477.

John Marshall Phillips, Masterpieces of New England Silver, 1650–1800: An Exhibition Held June 18 through September 10, 1939, Gallery of Fine Arts, Yale University (Boston: Harvard University Press, 1939), 74, no. 171.

An Introduction to Silver: Catalogue of an Exhibition on View Oct. 31, 1953–May 9, 1954, exh. cat. (Newark, N.J.: Newark Museum, 1953), n.p., no. 124.

Masterpieces of American Silver: The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, January 15–February 14, 1960, exh. cat. (Richmond, Va.: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 1960), 63, no. 113.

Kathryn C. Buhler and Graham Hood, American Silver in the Yale University Art Gallery, 2 vols. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1970), vol. 1, pp. 194–95, no. 253, ill.

Graham Hood, American Silver: A History of Style, 1650–1900 (New York: Praeger, 1971), 166, 170–71, fig. 182.

Judith Bernstein et al., The Eye of the Beholder: Fakes, Replicas, and Alterations in American Art, ed. Gerald W. R. Ward, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1977), 69, fig. 92.

Barbara M. Ward and Gerald W. R. Ward, eds., Silver in American Life: Selections from the Mabel Brady Garvan and Other Collections at Yale University, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1979), 43, 164, no. 172, ill.

Handbook of the Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 107, ill.

Patricia E. Kane, Colonial Massachusetts Silversmiths and Jewelers (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1998), 838.

Helen A. Cooper et al., Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2008), 208, no. 111, ill.

John Stuart Gordon et al., A Modern World: American Design from the Yale University Art Gallery, 1920–1950 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2011), 220–21, no. 144a.

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.