Teapot

about 1730
Paul Revere, Sr. (American (born in France, baptized Apollos Rivoire), 1702–1754)


Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts

Dimensions

14.8 x 24 cm (5 13/16 x 9 7/16 in.)

Accession Number

1972.122

Medium or Technique

Silver

Not On View

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Silver hollowware

As with the teapot Revere made for the Foster family, this vessel was raised and then turned upside down so that the original base could be cut out and remade as a close-fitting lid. A flat three-part hinge and applied ring seated within the rim of the teapot ensure that the lid is flush with the vessel exterior. A wood and silver capstan-style finial is soldered to the lid, on which has been cut a small air vent. The original open rim of the raised form has been closed with a base that has been let in and soldered in place.
A broad, splayed, cast foot with an applied foot ring is soldered to the body. The seamed S-shaped spout has a baluster drop and a foliate bud above the extended lip. Two section sockets secure the old, possibly original, handle. The upper socket, mounted high on the shoulder, bears side volutes and a triangular engraved foliate section at center. The lower socket is unadorned, its portion of the handle secured with a large replaced pin driven inside the socket rather than from the sides, as in the typical working method. The edge of lid and the shoulder are encircled with an engraved scrolled and foliate design filled with a fine pattern of diapers, fish scales, and parallel hatch marks.
The teapot’s hinge and rim, which receives the lid, show signs of corrosion that suggest later repairs. The handle is worn and has been crudely repaired near the lower socket.


This handsome teapot by Paul Revere I carries the restrained engraving and globular, or apple-shaped, profile typical of Boston teapots from the 1730s through the 1750s. It is one of three in the Museum’s collection, from a total of four that Revere I is believed to have made. Its spout is original, unlike the one on the Foster/Hutchinson family teapot published by Kathryn C. Buhler, which was “changed within the memory of the donor.” The engraving on both is similar, but this teapot has a condensed design that is handled with a far more delicate touch than the broadly conceived scrolls and leafage on the Foster teapot. The 1730 marriage date of the original owners and the italic text of the “P [pellet] Revere” mark suggest that this teapot was one of the elder Revere’s early attempts at this form.

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

Under teapot is the scratch weight of "17: oz " in a contemporaneous hand and a later notation of "16 = 15."

Markings

Touchmark of "P [pellet] Revere" in italics and within a rectangle is found underneath the teapot, above the center point.

Provenance

The teapot was made for shopkeeper and mariner John Pulling [Pullen] (about 1700 – about 1770) of Boston and his first wife, Martha Mountjoy (d. before 1753), m. 1730. The vessel passed to Edward Pulling (1755 – 1796) of Salem, son of John Pulling’s second wife, Jerusha Bradbury (b. 1711), m. 1753. Edward Pulling m. Lois Robinson in 1796. The teapot descended to their daughter Mary Robinson Pulling (1797 – 1882) of Salem and Daniel Oliver (1787 – 1842) of Marblehead, m. 1817; to their son Andrew Oliver (1824 – 1897) and Adelaide Imlay (1829 – 1898) of New York City; to their daughter Mary Pulling Imlay Oliver (b. 1860), d. unm.; to her niece Katharine Alice Crane (1890 – 1980) of New York City, the donor and wife of George Peabody Montgomery (1885 – 1972), m. 1918.

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. George P. Montgomery