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Object Name: Coffeepot
Date: ca. 1770
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Medium: Silver
Dimensions: Overall: 5 3/4 × 13 × 10 in. (14.6 × 33 × 25.4 cm) Overall (weight, with wood): 42 oz (troy) 3.6 dwt (1311.9 g)
Place made: North America, United States, New York
Description: Wrought silver coffeepot; pear-shaped body on a molded circular pedestal foot with a band of gadrooning and a band of reeding around the edge; reeded rim; hinged, molded and stepped dome lid with an applied gadrooned lip; cast acanthus finial screwed through the center of the dome; high curved spout with chased shell and acanthus decoration; cast shell and scroll handle sockets fitted with a wooden double-scroll handle; maker's marks on base.
Credit Line: Purchase, Abbott-Lenox Fund
Object Number: 1964.9
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Marks: stamped: on base: "BRASHER" in a rectangle above "N. YORK" in a rectangle

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Pear-shaped coffeepots with stepped domed covers, like this example, were popular in America during the 1770s. Brasher's pot balances the simple grace of the unadorned body with vigorous cast elements, including an acanthus- and shell-ornamented spout and bold gadrooning on the foot. While the pot's overall design and ornament are cosmopolitan, the small band of meander wire below the juncture of the body and foot is a subtle nod to New York's vernacular tradition. There is evidence that the vessel may have been enhanced prior to its sale to the Historical Society; its bold pineapple finial, which appears slightly oversized for the pot, is bolted to the cover rather than soldered and is probably a later replacement.


By purchase from dealer Charles Woolsey Lyon, New York City, 1964.


"Stories in Sterling: Four Centuries of Silver in New York," New-York Historical Society, May 4–September 23, 2012; Flagler Museum, Palm Beach, FL, January 28–April 20, 2014.