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Coffee pot

Coffee pot

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1799-1800 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Peter and Ann Bateman (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Engraved silver, wood and stained ivory

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Miss M. B. Hudson

  • Museum number:

    M.396-1922

  • Gallery location:

    Silver, Room 65, The Whiteley Galleries, case 14, shelf 6

This silver coffee pot in the neo-classical style bears the mark of one of the Bateman partnerships. The family run firm were a large London based silversmith's which made good quality standardised tableware for middleclass consumers. The lid is adorned by a pineapple carved from stained ivory. The pineapple, which originated in the Americas and the West Indies, was a common symbol of hospitality. The use of the pineapple as a decorative feature shows how fashionable the exotic New World was and hints at how close Britain's ties to this region were.

Widely drunk throughout the Middle East, coffee was introduced to Europe by Turkish traders in the early 17th century. Britain was at first dependant upon imports from the Middle East but slowly began to develop its own coffee industry through introducing the crop to plantations in Jamaica and other West Indian colonies. These plantations relied on the labour of Africans who were sold to British traders on the west coast of Africa as slaves and transported across the Atlantic.

Physical description

Coffee pot, silver with engraved borders, wooden handle (a replacement). Vase shaped body with engraved floral border around the top; oval foot, curved spout, hinged lid with pineapple knop of green stained ivory. Reeded edges; ebonised handle and a frame for a strainer inside.

Place of Origin

London (made)

Date

1799-1800 (made)

Artist/maker

Peter and Ann Bateman (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Engraved silver, wood and stained ivory

Marks and inscriptions

Mark of Peter and Ann Bateman

London hallmarks for 1799-1800.

Dimensions

Height: 30 cm, Width: 30.5 cm, Depth: 12.5 cm, Weight: 948.3 g, Weight: 30.49 troy

Object history note

An internal, subsequent alteration bears the mark of Rebecca Emes and Edward Barnard.

Descriptive line

Silver, London hallmarks for 1799-1800, mark of Peter and Ann Batemen.

Labels and date

Text written about this object for 'Uncomfortable Truths / Traces of the Trade' gallery trails (Trail 1: 'Consuming the Black Atlantic'), 20 February - 31 December 2007. Helen Mears & Janet Browne.

'COFFEE POT / Until overtaken by tea in 1720, coffee was Britain's most popular 'tropical' drink. Initially imported from the Middle East in the early 1720s, it later became a staple crop of the plantations in Jamaica and other West Indian colonies.

In the latter half of the 17th century 'coffee houses' sprang up all over London and other large towns and cities. They soon assumed a central position in the social, political and economic life of Britain. Apart from being places to meet friends, exchange news and read newspapers, they were important in the transatlantic trade. Merchants, bankers, insurers and ship owners would gather in the coffee houses and sometimes use them as a venue for slave auctions. The 'hue-and-cry' advertisements that publicised runaway slaves circulated in the coffee houses.' [20/02/2007]

Materials

Silver; Ivory; Wood

Techniques

Raising; Engraving

Subjects depicted

Pineapple

Categories

Drinking; Metalwork; Tea, Coffee & Chocolate wares

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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