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American Decorative Arts
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Maker: Joseph Richardson, Sr., American, 1711–1784

Teakettle on Stand


Silver and wood

kettle on stand, handle up: 14 3/4 × 11 1/2 × 8 in. (37.5 × 29.2 × 20.3 cm)
11 1/16 × 11 1/8 in., 1938 oz. (28.1 × 28.3 cm)
base: 3 1/8 in. (7.9 cm)
Mabel Brady Garvan Collection
This teakettle on stand by Joseph Richardson, Sr., is among the earliest and most monumental examples of the Rococo style in American silver. It was made between 1745 and 1755 for the Philadelphia merchant Clement Plumstead (died 1745) or for his widow, Mary (died 1755). The profusion of naturalistic ornament reflects the penetration of French ideas into English silver design, often through the work of Huguenot silversmiths. Paul de Lamerie, an immigrant Huguenot working in London, made a related teakettle on stand in 1744/45 for the wedding of David Franks and Margaret Evans of Philadelphia. That teakettle may have been a source of inspiration for this example.
Made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
On view
18th century
Containers - Metals

Clement (1680-1745) and Mary Plumstead, Philadelphia, Pa. (?); his grandaughter, Elizabeth (Plumstead) Elliot (1734-1799) (?); Mrs. Charles Bradford, Jr., West Chester, Pa.; Miss Frances M. Bradford, Philadelphia, Pa.; Francis P. Garvan, New York, to1932; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.


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. 2, pp. 189, 191, no. 843.

Handbook of the Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 105, ill.

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), 42–43, fig. 28.

Sarah D. Coffin and Penelope Hunter-Stiebel, Rococo: The Continuing Curve, 1730–2008 (New York: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, 2008), 130, 132–33, fig. 58.

Penelope Hunter-Stiebel, “Variations on a Sensuous Theme,” Financial Times (March 15–16, 2008), 11, ill.

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), 198, no. 104, ill.

Beatrice Hohenegger, ed., Steeped in History The Art of Tea, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: Fowler Museum at UCLA, 2009), 162-63, no. 6.3, ill.

Susan B. Matheson, Art for Yale: A History of the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2001), 98–99, fig. 88.

John Marshall Phillips, “Outstanding Examples from the Mabel Brady Garvan Collections,” Bulletin of the Associates in Fine Arts at Yale University 8, no. 2 (February 1938): 41, ill.

Stephen G. C. Ensko, American Silversmiths and Their Marks, 3 (New York: Ensko, Inc., 1948), 72.

John Marshall Phillips, “Masterpieces in American Silver in Public Collections: Part IV, Rococo and Federal Periods,” Antiques 56 (July 1949): 42, ill.

John Marshall Phillips, American Silver (New York: Chanticleer Press, 1949), 103, pl. 23.

John Marshall Phillips, Early American Silver Selected from the Mabel Garvan Collection, Yale University (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1960), no. 22, ill.

John Marshall Phillips, “The Mabel Brady Garvan Collection of Silver at Yale University,” Connoisseur Year Book (1953): 74–75, pl. 15, ill.

Kathryn C. Buhler, French, English, and American Silver, exh. cat. (Minneapolis: Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 1956), 77, no. 276, ill.

Charles F. Montgomery and Patricia E. Kane, eds., American Art: 1750–1800 Towards Independence, exh. cat. (Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1976), 192–93, fig. 146.

Philadelphia Silver, 1682–1800: Exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, April 14–May 27, 1956, exh. cat. (Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1956), no. 389, ill.

Martha Gandy Fales, Joseph Richardson and Family, Philadelphia Silversmiths (Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1974), 87–89, fig. 44.

Amy R. W. Meyers et al., Knowing Nature: Art and Science in Philadelphia, 1740–1840 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2011), 143–44, fig. 16.

Graham Hood, American Silver: A History of Style, 1650–1900 (New York: Praeger, 1971), 124–25, 127, fig. 128.

Kathryn C. Buhler, Colonial Silversmiths, Masters and Apprentices, exh. cat. (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1956), 94–95, no. 314.

Martha Gandy Fales, Early American Silver for the Cautious Collector (New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1970), 26, fig. 23.

Jules David Prown, Art as Evidence: Writings on Art and Material Culture (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2001), 59, fig. 4.9.

Gerald W. R. Ward, “Elegance in Revolutionary America,” Craft Horizons XXXVI, no. 2 (1976): 52, ill.

Alan Shestack, ed., Yale University Art Gallery Selections (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1983).

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.