Wrought silver and ivory
Overall: 8 x 12 x 6 3/8 in. ( 20.3 x 30.5 x 16.2 cm ) Silver Weight: 32 oz (troy) 9 dwt (1009 g)
Inscription: engraved on the front center: "Presented to Captain William Bowne by/ the Passengers in the Ship Courier from/ Liverpool to New York in June 1819/ as a Small testimony of thier grateful/ rememberance of his assiduous attention/ to their Comfo
Wrought silver and ivory teapot; oval, boat-shaped body with bulbous gadrooning around the lower body, set on four hollow, cast and chased bird claw and ball feet with chased feathers over the joints; flared to an applied, die-rolled band of foliate scroll garlands; band below a convex shoulder with an applied, vertical die-rolled egg and dart band; hinged, arched lid with a raised dome rectangular dome covered in repoussé chased acanthus leaves and surmounted by a cast cauliflower finial; high, curved bird's head spouts with a notched lip; scrolled, cast and chased silver handle; scrolled, acanthus design handle sockets fitted with ivory insulators; engraved on the front center, "Presented to Captain William Bowne by/ the Passengers in the Ship Courier from/ Liverpool to New York in June 1819/ as a Small testimony of thier grateful/ rememberance of his assiduous attention/ to their Comfort & Safety during/ the passage.;" maker's mark on the base.
William Thomson, a Scottish immigrant, manufactured some of New York's most eccentric Empire-style silver. This teapot's anthropomorphic body, exaggerated eagle's-head spout, and talon feet are similar to forms and devices incorporated into Continental silver of the period. The bulbous body with cushion-shaped shoulder and cover is in the oblong style, as the shape was known during the early nineteenth century. Accenting the silhouette is an intricate foliate die-rolled shoulder band, a common border element produced by the hand-turned rolling or flatting mills used by many American silversmiths of the period. These elements are balanced with the eye-catching spout, flexed claw-and-ball feet, and vigorous foliate C-scroll handle, all hand-finished with feather and naturalistic details that enhance the teapot's animated stance. This object was presented to Captain Bowne of the Courier, an early Black Ball Line packet ship, after a return trip in 1819. The ships's passengers presented the captain with this teapot as a token of gratitude. Although their reason remains unclear, the inscription suggests that the captain comforted and protected them under exceptional circumstances, perhaps a storm.
Gift of Carl Otto von Kienbusch
Capt. William Bowne (1784-1847); descent unknown; collection of George C. Gebelein (1878-1945); purchased at Parke-Bernet, New York, January 3, 1957, lot 28, by Carl Otto von Kienbusch (1884-1976), the donor.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.