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Object Name: Coffeepot
Date: 1853
Related People:
Medium: Silver
Dimensions: Overall: 6 1/2 × 12 × 10 1/4 in., 40 oz (troy) 4.4 dwt (16.5 × 30.5 × 26 cm, 1251 g)
Place made: North America, United States, New York
Description: Wrought Victorian rococo silver coffeepot; six-sided inverted pear-shaped body on a molded six-sided scalloped foot; long upper body flares slightly, to a scalloped rim with cast-applied c-scrolls and six decorative cast pendants at each drop; chased and repousséd floral, scroll and acanthus decoration divides the six sides and runs along the first curve of the lower body; engraved cartouches in each section are filled with diamond patterns on the sides, a blank reserve on the back, and a reserve with the initials, "Z M" in gothic script on the front; foot decorated with chased and repousséd floral and scroll decoration; hinged, round lid, flat at the edges, raised to a flat dome in the center; dome engraved with six empty cartouches; cast floral finial; cast scroll handle with an applied acanthus leaf thumbpiece; terminuses of the scroll form the handle sockets which are fitted with ivory insulators; cast spout with a notched lip, covered in acanthus leaf decoration; maker's marks on the base.
Credit Line: Gift of Dr. Adelaide Mills
Object Number: 1932.87b
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Marks: Inscription: engraved at front cartouche: "Z M" Mark: stamped on base: "W. ADAMS" in a barbed rectangle over "NEW-YORK" in a barbed rectangle

Gallery Label:

This coffeepot is part of a tea and coffee service presented to Zophar Mills upon his retirement as President of the New York City Fire Department. Mills was a celebrated firefighter whose company was credited with halting the Great Fire of 1835 at Wall Street, preventing destruction of the northern part of the city. Most of the pieces in this service appear to be off-the-shelf forms, personalized with Mills's engraved initials. The tray, however, is engraved with vignettes and allegorical scenes that relate to Mills's career and achievements.

Provenance:

Zophar Mills (1809-1887), who married Eliza Phillips (ca. 1815-1902); to their daughter Dr. Adelaide Mills (b. 1852), the donor.