Coffeepot

about 1760–75
Daniel Henchman (American, 1730–1775)


Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts

Dimensions

29.2 x 23.3 x 12.5 cm (11 1/2 x 9 3/16 x 4 15/16 in.)

Accession Number

1981.171

Medium or Technique

Silver

Not On View

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Silver hollowware

The raised gourd-shaped body is set on a molded and stepped foot. The cast S-scrolled spout has a baluster drop at base; a leaf-and-scroll ornament adorns the spout, and leafy decoration appears on its retracted upper lip. The stepped high dome is surmounted by a cast pinecone finial. A four-part hinge attaches the cover to scroll and leaf socket. The lower socket has scrolled elements and is adhered to body with a circular boss. The wooden double-scrolled handle is a replacement, and a repair has been made to the body, at the center point.


The tapering, cylindrical forms that characterized mid-eighteenth-century coffeepots can be seen in an example made by Daniel Henchman between 1755 and 1765 for a member of the Winthrop family. Shortly after, however, a newer rococo form came into vogue in Boston; it featured a swelled body and tall stepped foot. Henchman’s version of this coffeepot bears lively cast decoration on the spout and finely delineated details on the handle sockets, with matched stepped conical forms on the lid and foot. Henchman produced a slightly smaller example, with similar cast elements and a lower foot ring, for the Codman family. The initials on the body of the coffeepot have not been identified.

‘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

Probably later engraving of "CCW" in entwined sprigged script on body to left of handle; to right of handle in same script appears "CCW / to JWP."

Markings

On base above center point is stamped "Henchman" within a rectangle.

Provenance

Purchased at a Sotheby Parke-Bernet sale in 1978 by S. J. Shrubsole Corporation of New York. Subsequently purchased in 1979 by Mrs. Richard E. Summers (Phebe Gould Williams) of Frederick, Maryland, and made a partial sale/partial gift to the Museum in 1981.

Credit Line

Marion E. Davis Fund and gift in memory of Emma Jane Henchman Kimball and Harriet Kimball Williams by Phebe W. Summers