Paul Revere Jr. Silver Pitcher
Retailed by Ebenezer Moulton, Boston, circa 1805
Liverpool pottery form, the body engraved WCB to JJ, stamped on and under base with Revere mark, also stamped under base with retail mark of Moulton. Height 6 inches, width 7 inches, diameter of base 3 3/4 inches, approximately 14 ounces.
John Johnson (1771-1842)
Edwin Ferry Johnson (1803-1872), son, married Charlotte Shaler
Lucy Ann Shaler Johnson (1845-1931), daughter
Marion Shaler Allen (1874- 1963), cousin
Parke Bernet Galleries, 19-20 November 1954, lot 269, $2,750
Monroe and Elizabeth Dreher Collection, December 1954
The engraved initials JJ are those of John Johnson (1771-1842).
This iconic 'Liverpool" form pitcher, based on an English creamware ceramic model, is closely associated with Revere's workshop. The Revere model has subsequently been copied by generations of American silver manufacturers. This pitcher is the fifteenth known example of the form. Fourteen are cited in Kane, Colonial Massachusetts Silversmiths and Jewelers, with examples found in the following public collections: Winterthur, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Yale University Art Gallery, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2), and Norton Art Gallery, Shreveport.
Revere owned three pitchers of this form, as indicated by his inventory:"1 Silver Large Pitcher 23 oz [MFA Boston]; 1 Silver 2d Size do 10 oz / 1 Silver 3d Size Do 12 1/2." Known examples of Revere's Liverpool silver pitcher range in height from 5 5/8 to 7 1/8 inches, a scale considerably smaller that the many variations of these pitchers produced by later silver manufacturers.
The pitcher is also an important example of the practice of Revere's large and successful workshop supplying silver to other Boston-based silversmiths; the pitcher is marked by both Revere and Ebenezer Moulton (1768-1824), who relocated from Newburyport to Boston in the 1790s. It is surmised that the Revere mark was defaced when Moulton applied his mark and then also added the engraved initials. Revere is known to have supplied other silversmiths, such as Joseph Loring, who applied his own mark to Revere's works. For example, a fluted teapot and stand in the collection of the MFA Boston (39.200-201) of which the stand is marked by Loring, has subsequently been attributed to Revere (see Kane, p. 675).
This pitcher descended within the family of John Johnson (1771-1842). Johnson, born in Topsfield, MA, was a land surveyor, a builder of bridges and dams, and was appointed Surveyor General of the state of Vermont in 1813. Johnson supplied the government with maps during the War of 1812 and, following the war, he was appointed U.S. Commissioner for the settlement of claims and tasked with surveying the Northeastern Boundary.
His son, Edwin Ferry Johnson (1805-1872) continued the surveying work of his father, working on canals, railroads and a mineralogical survey of Lake Champlain. He was one of the original planners of the Northern Pacific Railroad, and was its chief engineer until his death in 1872. Johnson resided in Middletown, CT where he was the Mayor in 1856.
C Property from The Monroe and Elizabeth Dreher Collection
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