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Maker(s):Pierce, Samuel (attributed to)
Culture:American
Title:teapot
Date Made:1795-1810
Type:Food Service
Materials:base metal: pewter
Place Made:United States; Massachusetts; Greenfield (possibly)
Measurements:Overall: 9 in x 7 3/8 in x 5 1/4 in; 22.9 cm x 18.7 cm x 13.3 cm
Accession Number:  HD 2014.33
Credit Line:Gift in memory of Edward and Prudence Lamb
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield
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Description:
Pewter pear-shaped teapot with incised lines for decoration around the shoulder of the pot, with an knop and disk finial on a domed, hinged lid - lid is decorated with lincised lines; attached cast faceted spout, and black painted S-scroll handle (painting is fairly recent), bottom of pot shows circular marks also known as chatter marks of lathe turning to remove metal and smooth the pot, there is also a modern paper label attached to the base which reads: "x609", within the teapot is a small piece of paper which reads: "Am. Brit. Pewter - John Calr Thomas/Samuel Pierce/ p 132-139" This teapot is attributed to Greenfield pewterer Samuel Pierce (1767-1840) based on very similar marked examples. Born in Middletown, Connecticut, Samuel Pierce was apprenticed to the Danforths, a well-known family of pewterers in Middletown, probably mostly with Joseph Danforth (1758-1788). Pierce completed his training about 1789 and married Anne Joyce (1769-1843) in 1790; he moved his family to Greenfield in 1792 or early 1793, where he had began to work for Col. William Moore (b.1762), a successful Greenfield businessman, in his mill, and made pewter and other white metal products on his own account. By 1799, Pierce was in partnership with blacksmith Ambrose Ames shipping commodities on the river; however, after an outbreak of dysentary in Greefield in 1802 killed three of their five children, the Pierces moved to Colrain, Massachusetts, where he titled himself as a cooper in a deed of 1804 and mainly farmed until returning to Greenfield about 1807. He then went into partnership with merchant Hart Leavitt (1765-1836) as Pierce & Leavitt, and by 1810, was the 6th most prominent men in Greenfield. After President Thomas Jefferson's Trade Embargo in 1807 and the War of 1812 destroyed New England's commerce, Pierce went back to the forge and again he was succesful as a whitesmith, selling a wide range of pewter, tin and lead products. In 1821, Samuel turned the business over to his son John Joyce Pierce (1793-1878) although Samuel's accounts show that he continued to work in metals into the ealy 1830s. According to Philip Zea (2/3/2010), probably most of Pierce's own commerical pewter production found in HD's collection can be dated between 1795-1810. Relatively few pewter teapots were made in England for domestic use; English pear-shaped pewter teapots, especially dating from the third quarter of the 18th century, were virtually all produced for the export trade. Few English silver pear-shaped teapots date after 1725; however American silver makers continued the form almost until the Revolution, and imported and domestically produced pewter examples extended the pear form popularity in America. The painted banner, carried on July 23, 1788, in the Federal Procession of Pewterers of New York City to celebrate ratification of the Constitution, displays a pear-shaped teapot as the crest to their arms and as one of three emblematic forms shown above a shop scene. The pear-shaped teapot was sold with and without legs.

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https://museums.fivecolleges.edu/detail.php?t=objects&type=ext&id_number=HD+2014.33

Research on objects in the collections, including provenance, is ongoing and may be incomplete. If you have additional information or would like to learn more about a particular object, please email fc-museums-web@fivecolleges.edu.

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