Teapot (part of a six-piece service)

about 1857
Rogers & Wendt (1853–1857), Augustus Rogers (active 1830–1871), John R. Wendt (American, 1826–1907), Retailer Jones, Shreve, Brown & Co. (active 1855–1858)


Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Dimensions

19.5 x 30.5 x 17 cm (7 11/16 x 12 x 6 11/16 in.)

Accession Number

1998.188.5

Medium or Technique

Silver

Not On View

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Silver hollowware

The reeded kylix-shaped lower body is spun and joined to the concave shoulders and slender neck by an egg-and-dart decorated stamped band. A flat-chased Greek-key design with additional floral motifs above rings the shoulder of the upper part. The domed and reeded hinged lid has a cold-chased acorn finial. The cast spout is reeded. The hollow cast C-scrolled handle curves above the upper rim and down to the bowl. The short-stemmed foot is deeply gadrooned at the bottom edge.


This large coffee and tea service is composed of six pieces made by Rogers & Wendt in the mid-nineteenth century and a matching kettle on stand made by Gorham in the early twentieth. The addition succeeds beautifully and provides evidence of the high quality of workmanship available after the turn of the century.
Formed and decorated in the late classical style, the original six pieces are the work of Rogers & Wendt, a little-known Boston firm. Johan Rudolph Wendt apprenticed with master goldsmith Dietrich Heinrich Stadt II in his native Germany and immigrated to the United States during the 1848 revolution. Listed as a chaser in the Boston directory of 1850, he prospered quickly. By 1853 he appeared in partnership with Augustus Rogers, who had begun his career in New York but established himself in Boston in the 1840s. Reported to have a large shop of forty workers, the firm prospered. Rogers & Wendt retailed this service and other wares through Jones, Shreve, Brown & Co., one of Boston’s largest and most prestigious retailers of luxury goods.
This fully marked service is a major example of comparatively rare Boston silver by this firm. In 1860 Rogers & Wendt formed a partnership with George Wilkinson, Gorham’s head designer, to supply the well-known New York firm of Ball, Black & Co. For unknown reasons, the partnership lasted only a few months, but Wendt retained his New York connection and, for more than a decade, occupied two floors of the firm’s new building as an independent supplier. Although Wendt is recognized as a major New York City silversmith, his Boston work remains relatively unknown.

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

"EGB / EAG" engraved in entwined letters within a medallion on the concave shoulder.

Markings

“JONES, SHREVE, BROWN & CO. / STERLING” incuse; twice with an incuse eagle flanking “BOSTON” in a rectangle; above “R. & W.” incuse, all struck on bottom of each Rogers & Wendt piece.

Provenance

Elizabeth Ann Goddard (1829 – 1910) m. Thomas Perkins Shepard (1817 – 1877) of Salem, Massachusetts, in 1856 in Providence, Rhode Island; to their son William Binney Jr. (1858 – 1921) and his wife, Harriet D’Costa Rhodes; to their daughter Elizabeth Goddard Binney (b. 1893), whose monogram was inscribed on piece probably about 1915, when she m. Barnes Newberry of Rhode Island. Descended to their son William Binney Newberry (b. 1928), who placed the service at auction. In 1998 it was purchased by dealer Spencer Marks and therafter purchased by the Museum.

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds donated by The Seminarians, other friends, and the Curator's Fund in memory of Harry H. Schnabel, Jr.