Caster

1787
Paul Revere, Jr. (American, 1734–1818)


Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Dimensions

Overall: 15.4 x 4.9 x 4.9 cm, 0.12 kg (6 1/16 x 1 15/16 x 1 15/16 in., 0.26 lb.)

Accession Number

1983.129

Medium or Technique

Silver

Not On View

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Silver hollowware

The raised oviform vessel is soldered to a splayed foot, which in turn is supported by a squared plinth. Beaded decoration separates the shoulder of the vessel from its incurved neck; a domed pierced shaker is surmounted by a twisted flame finial pinned in place.


This unmarked caster is thought to have been owned originally by William and Hannah Carter Smith of Boston and made at the time of their marriage in 1787. A teapot and stand in the Museum’s collection, marked by Revere, has the same history (see cat. nos. 165 and 172 for related pieces owned in the same family).
Only three other Revere casters are known in this same form. The piece is also related to the small, unmarked gold urn made by Revere for the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in 1799 to hold a lock of George Washington’s hair.

This text has been adapted from “Silver of the Americas, 1600-2000,” edited by Jeannine Falino and Gerald W.R. Ward, published in 2008 by the MFA. Complete references can be found in that publication.

Inscription

"WHS / 1787." entwined script initials engraved within an oval on one sie, with ribbon-hung garland above and crossed sprays below. "TCS / to / WVS / 1877" in script engraved on opposite side

Markings

Unmarked

Provenance

Originally owned by William and Hannah (Carter) Smith; see also cat. no. 172. Descended to their son Thomas Carter Smith in 1831; to his son William Vincent Smith in 1877; he m. Alice Parkman in 1878 (and changed his name to William Smith Carter in 1880); to his son Theodore P. Carter. Purchased from the latter by noted collector Mark Bortman and placed on loan to the Museum from 1948 to 1966. By descent to his daughter Jane Bortman Larus. Purchased from William Core Duffy, New Haven, Connecticut, in 1983.

Credit Line

Frank B. Remis Fund