Decorative Arts
silver; wood handle
United States,New York, New York
Overall: 6 5/8 × 9 3/4 × 5 11/16 in. (16.83 × 24.77 × 14.45 cm)

Myer Myers, a New Yorker with Richmond connections, hammered this teapot – body, lid, and foot – from weighty blocks of silver “ingots” before casting the S-scroll spout. Detailed with sweeping acanthus leaves, the spout is expressive of the serpentine “line of beauty” extolled by Englishman William Hogarth.

The asymmetrical curving line of the spout was a particular feature of the rococo style, which countered the controlled linearity of classical form by introducing ornament derived from nature. These characteristic curves also appear in the teapot’s extraordinary chased decoration. Chasing was a highly specialized skill. It required an artisan to hammer up the silver from the back and then punch – or chase - a detailed pattern into its surface.

Maker's mark: Myer Myers of New York
Gift of Rita R. Gans
2018: Collecting for the Commonwealth Preserving for the Nation, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 1919-2018, Winter Antiques Show, Park Avenue Armory, New York City, NY, January 18 - 26, 2018.

Myer Myers: Jewish Silversmith in Colonial New York, exh. cat., Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, 2001, and on tour
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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