University of Rochester

Rochester Review
September–October 2010
Vol. 73, No. 1

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After Words

ACQUISITIONSShining the Silver
creampot (Photo: Adam Fenster)

TEA TIME: A creampot by silversmith and American Revolution hero Paul Revere is the latest addition to the Memorial Art Gallery’s colonial silver collection. Created in the 1760s, the pot has a “graceful quality,” says chief curator Marjorie Searl. “The little feet, the scalloping of the spout and the rim, and the curve of the handle are reminiscent of furniture forms in fashion in those decades.” The creampot complements other pieces in the gallery’s collection by Revere’s contemporary and fellow Boston silversmith Nathaniel Hurd, and Hurd’s father, Jacob. (Among the first paintings ever purchased by the gallery for its collections was a portrait of Nathaniel Hurd by 18th-century painter John Singleton Copley. It was acquired in 1944.) Colonial Americans who could afford such luxury items would often take damaged silver pieces and coins collected from other countries to a silversmith to be melted down and reborn. “Out of this very rough material would emerge an object of incredible delicacy,” Searl says. Part of a tea service, the pot “helps to tell a story about the lives and livelihood of people in Boston in the decade leading up to the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, and ultimately the American Revolution.”