Tea Urn

Maker: Paul Revere Jr. (American, Boston, Massachusetts 1734–1818 Boston, Massachusetts)

Date: 1791

Geography: Made in Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Culture: American

Medium: Silver, ivory

Dimensions: Overall: 22 1/4 x 10 5/8 x 10 3/8 in. (56.5 x 27 x 26.4 cm); 110 oz. 10 dwt. (3437.2 g)
Body: H. 17 15/16 in. (45.6 cm); 88 oz. 9 dwt. (2750.9 g)
Cover: 7 in. (17.8 cm); Diam. 6 in. (15.2 cm); 11 oz. 5 dwt. (350.7 g)
Insert: H. 9 13/16 in. (24.9 cm); 10 oz. 15 dwt. (335.6 g)

Classification: Silver

Credit Line: Purchase, The Annenberg Foundation Gift, Annette de la Renta, Mr. and Mrs. Robert G. Goelet, Drue Heinz, and Henry R. Kravis Foundation Inc. Gifts, Friends of the American Wing Fund, Margaret Dewar Stearns Bequest, Mr. and Mrs. Anthony L. Geller and Herbert and Jeanine Coyne Foundation Gifts, Max H. Gluck Foundation Inc. Gift, in honor of Virginia and Leonard Marx, and Rogers, Louis V. Bell and Dodge Funds; and Gift of Elizabeth K. Rodiger, 1990

Accession Number: 1990.226a–d


Hot-water urns joined the tea and coffee service in the years following the American Revolution. This monumental example, recorded by Paul Revere in his ledger on April 20, 1791, was made for Hannah Rowe (1725–1805) of Boston, whose initials are engraved on its front. With its attenuated body, high looped handles, and bright-cut engraving, this urn epitomizes the elegance and restraint characteristic of Neoclassical styling. Popular throughout Europe in the latter eighteenth century, Neoclassicism easily took hold in the young American republic, where allusions to ancient Rome held special appeal.