Coffeepot

Arts and crafts period
about 1920
Ernest M. Currier (American, 1867–1936)


Object Place: New York, New York, United States

Dimensions

22.5 x 21.5 x 4 cm (8 7/8 x 8 7/16 x 1 9/16 in.)

Accession Number

1982.443

Medium or Technique

Silver

Not On View

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Silver hollowware

The raised rectangular vessel has straight tapered sides and a high-curved spout affixed at the middle of body with a low-curved lip. The domed lid has a cast urn finial. Applied cast anthemia grace the top and bottom of the seamed handle and the base of spout. The insulators on the pinned handle are ivory. The seamed body is set on a cast and molded base with a vertical rim.


Ernest Currier is best known as the maker of such familiar trophies as the U.S. Golf Amateur Championship’s Bobby Jones Gold Cup. He retailed his silverwares through Tiffany, Gorham, and Gebelein as well as several retail stores that he operated, with Harry R. Roby (1862 – about 1924), across the country. Currier and Roby may have met at A. F. Towle and Son in Newburyport, Massachusetts, where Roby served as foreman and later head of the samplemaking department, and Currier was a young apprentice. They formed a partnership about 1901, opening a shop in New York City that specialized in reproducing colonial and early American and English silver. An advocate for custom-made replicas rather than mass-produced works, Currier distinguished himself as a craftsman-scholar, publishing several articles on antique silver and hand-production techniques. He is also credited with designing much of the silver produced by his firm.
According to Bennett Trupin, the firm’s photographer and Currier’s general assistant, this coffeepot is a prototype for one of Currier’s favorite designs. Unlike later versions that were stamped from cast dies, this pot was shaped by hand. It formed part of a larger set that included a creamer and sugar bowl; the model number for the set is “1097.” It was illustrated in a more ornamental, engraved version as plate 209 in the company records. Typically, Currier’s name in script appeared on the bottom of his hollowware pieces, although that is not the case with this example, which, according to Trupin, Currier brought home for his personal use.

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

None.

Markings

“B 38494” scratched on bottom; “E. M. CURRIER /
STERLING / 1097 [last two digits are a restamping correction] / 11/2 PINTS.” struck incuse on bottom.

Ada Mark * F4432

Provenance

Given by the silversmith’s widow, Lavinia Duchemin Currier, to Kathryn C. Buhler in gratitude for Buhler’s role in editing her husband’s manuscript on the marks of early American silversmiths in 1938. Made a gift to the Museum by Mrs. Buhler in 1982.

Credit Line

Gift of Kathryn C. Buhler