1022: Tiffany Four-Piece Sterling "Paul Revere" Tea Set
Tiffany & Co. Four-Piece Sterling Silver Paul Revere Replica Tea Set, the pattern introduced in 1916 after the ca. 1795 original by Paul Revere, Jr. (1735-1818), including a navette-shaped teapot with conical spout and wooden handle, h. 6-1/2", l. 11-3/4", a conforming trivet, l. 7-1/2", w. 4-3/4", a helmet-form cream jug, h. 3-3/4" and covered sugar urn, h. 9-1/4", dia. 4-1/4", each with a fluted body engraved with wrigglework and pricked swags and banding, 50.86 total t. oz. (including wooden handle). This set is a meticulously faithful reproduction of a five-piece set (with an additional sugar basket) created by the patriot Paul Revere in the last decade of the 18th century, reputedly for a young Virginia bride. At least, that was the provenance given when Tiffany & Co. helped New York judge Alphonso Trumpbour Clearwater (1848-1933) acquire the set around 1914. Evidently the set was purchased - or at least loaned to the Metropolitan Museum of Art - in stages, the teapot and trivet first appearing in the MMA bulletin of January 1916, and the cream jug and sugar bowl in June 1918. These dates coincide precisely with the pattern numbers which appear on these reproductions by Tiffany, who evidently created them as a tie-in to Clearwater's loan of the pieces, which was met with much public fanfare. Tiffany would go on to create several other replicas from the Clearwater Collection, though the set here is regarded as the finest. The Metropolitan Museum of Art acquired Clearwater's collection permanently after his death in 1933; the Revere set remains on display today in Gallery 750 of the American Wing. For more details on the creation of the Tiffany reproduction, see Charles and Mary Carpenter, Tiffany Silver (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1984), pp. 267-268, illustration 324 (the cream jug); for more information on the original Revere set, see C. Louise Avery, American Silver of the XVII and XVIII Centuries: The Clearwater Collection, (New York: MMA, 1920), pp. 145-147.