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Coffee pot

Coffee pot

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1681-1682 (hallmarked)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver, engraved, with leather-covered handle

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 56c, case 4

Object Type
The coffee pot was one of a series of new vessels developeded by European silversmiths for the imported drinks of tea, coffee and chocolate. A tapered cylindrical form of pot was originally used for both coffee and chocolate, but the earliest known silver teapot, dated to 1670, is also of this shape (museum no. M.399-1921). By the 18th century the spout was often placed at right angles to the handle on coffee and chocolate pots.

Historical Associations
The engraving on the coffee pot reveals that this was a gift to the East India Company. Founded in 1600, the English East India Company was incorporated by royal charter to develop trade with India and East Asia. The Museum's silver teapot of the same form was also presented to the East India Company, in 1670.

Place of Origin

London (made)


1681-1682 (hallmarked)



Materials and Techniques

Silver, engraved, with leather-covered handle

Marks and inscriptions

Punched on rim of pot, L to R:
Initials 'GG' over a pellet, in a shaped shield, the mark of George Garthorne; leopard's head crowned, the town mark of the London assay office; 'd' in a shield, the date letter for the assay year 1681-82; lion passant, the sterling silver standard mark.
Punched on the inside of the circle of silver which is the base of the pot: mark 'GG' over a pellet (worn), maker's mark of George Garthorne.

Engraved on the side of the coffee pot:
Arms of Richard Sterne in feather cartouche.
Below, the inscription:
'The Guift of Richard Sterne E[s]q[uire] / to ye Honorable East: India: Compa[ny]:'


Height: 25 cm, Width: 21.5 cm including handle and spout, Diameter: 12.3 cm base

Object history note

Made in London

Descriptive line

Coffee pot, sterling silver, English (London), 1681-82, mark of George Garthorne. Engraved with the arms of Richard Sterne

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

V&A Catalogue, 1920, No. 66
Oman, C.. Caroline Silver, 1625-1688. London: Faber and Faber, 1970.
Watts, W. W. Old English Silver. London: E. Benn, 1924
Jackson's Silver & Gold Marks of England, Scotland & Ireland, ed. Ian Pickford. Woodbridge: Antique Collectors' Club, 1989. Third edition, revised. ISBN 0907462634
Lincoln, Margarette, ed. Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire, Revolution. Catalogue of the exhibition held 20 November 2015 - 28 March 2016 at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London. London: Thames and Hudson, 2015. ISBN 9780500518144

Labels and date

British Galleries:
Coffee was introduced to Britain from Turkey in the mid-17th century. It quickly became popular and the first coffee house opened in Oxford in 1657. This is the earliest known English silver coffee pot. The shape is based on Turkish coffee pots. Leather is used on the handle to insulate against heat. [27/03/2003]


Metalwork; Tea, Coffee & Chocolate wares; India Museum


Metalwork Collection

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