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It Came from the Vault: Rarely Seen Works from MAG’s Collection

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Coffee Pot

1732
8 1/2 x 7 3/8 x 4 1/2 in. (21.6 x 18.7 x 11.4 cm)

Peter Archambo
British (active 1720 - 1767)

Object Type: Metalwork
Medium and Support: Silver and ivory
Credit Line: Bequest of Mrs. Edith H. Woodward
Accession Number: 1956.17
Location: Currently on view
Link to this object
Collection: Woodward Collection

In 18th-century Britain, sterling silver was the “coinage of the realm,” and literally worth its weight. The ownership of silver goods, however, was more than a display of wealth; it was also an expression of a patron’s taste, education, and power. The government recognized the importance of the silversmiths’ trade to the economy, and closely monitored the quality and hierarchy of British artisans through requirements for silver weights and hallmarks. Their wide variety of goods found markets at the royal court, among a growing professional and merchant class, and through expanding international trade.

Quality British silver of this period has long been a favorite of private collectors. The majority of MAG’s collection of continental and English silver comes from the Woodward family, who donated over 70 pieces in the 1950s.

[Label text from It Came From the Vault exhibition, 2013]

Marks
Design of six snakes in a bundle on side of pot. Marks: lion passant [British sterling silver standard mark indicating purity of .925]; crowned leopard head [indicating London manufacture]; R in shield [date mark indicating 1732 manufacture]; crowned PA [maker's mark for Peter Archambo]

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Web Links See links to web pages and lesson plans
It Came from the Vault exhibition catalogue Entry for this artwork in the It Came from the Vault exhibition catalogue. The exhibition ran from March 17-June 9, 2013


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