Coffeepot

Object Number: 
1951.284
Date: 
1775/76
Medium: 
Silver
Dimensions: 
Overall: 9 3/8 x 5 3/8 x 6 1/4 in. (23.8 x 13.7 x 15.9 cm.); silver weight with handle: 50 oz (troy) 4 dwt (1561 g)
Marks: 
Mark: stamped at underside of lid and at bottom of body: "A" crowned (Paris charge mark from 1774-80 period), "M" crowned with conforming surround (Paris town mark of 1775), "J N/ R" below a trefoil and crown (le poincon de maitre).
Inscriptions: 

Engraved at center-front: Livingston family arms surrounded by garland, surmounted by crest of ship with three masts; at bottom, motto in banner “SPERO MELIORA” in Roman letters.

Gallery Label: 

Originally purchased by New Yorker Gouverneur Morris (1752-1816) during his time in France as the United States minister, he later sold this late eighteenth-century coffeepot to Robert R. Livingston during his term in the office there. The coffeepot was probably purchased from French aristocrats who were seeking funds to flee the vicissitudes of the French Revolution. Morris approached Livingston, arguing that when in France it was more economical to own silver, as “your French servants will knock China plates to pieces very fast.” Livingston purchased a silver service from Morris, which included this coffeepot, and had it engraved with the Livingston family arms.    

Credit Line: 
Gift of Goodhue Livingston
Place Made: 
Europe, France, Paris
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group