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Teapot

ca. 1810
Origin: America, District of Columbia, Georgetown
OH: 9 1/4" OW (incl. handle): 12 1/2" OD: 4 1/8"
Silver, wood
Museum Purchase, The Friends of Colonial Williamsburg Collections Fund
Acc. No. 2013-144,1
Raised oval urn-shaped body chased into 8 vertical panels on a stepped oval spreading foot; upper body chased onto wide and narrow horizontal bands, with convex shoulder and rim with applied horizontal bands; hinged domed lid, flat at edge, with cast urn finial. S-curve spout with applied cast oval medallion at top. Angular curved wooden handle set into sockets with silver pins. Note that handle appears to be original.
Label:Charles Alexander Burnett was the most prolific and important silversmith in the vicinity of the new nation’s seat of government, first working in Fredericksburg, Virginia (1788-1793), then Alexandria, Virginia (1793-ca. 1796), and finally Georgetown, DC (1796-ca. 1840). His clientele included members of Washington society, politicians and presidents.

This teaset is in Burnett’s earlier, more restrained neoclassical style, as evidenced by its relatively clean lines, smooth surfaces, and urn-shaped finials. The sweeping flare of the wood handle creates a lively counterpoint to the shallow paneling of the teapot’s body. Interestingly, the handle appears to be original, a rarity because of the relatively fragile nature of these wooden appendages. Made circa 1810 in Georgetown in the District of Columbia, the teaset has a family history of ownership by Mary Randolph of Virginia.


Provenance:According to the vendor, the teaset has a family history of ownership by Mary Randolph of Amelia Courthouse, Virginia. The specific identity of this Mary Randolph remains unknown.
Mark(s):Marked in relief with an eagle's head on edge of foot below handle and "C•A•BURNETT" in rectangle, twice on inside of base
Inscription(s):Engraved "MR" in sprigged script within a floral festooned cartouche on proper right side