Benjamin Burt (American, 17291805)
Silver; Overall: 3 3/4 x 3 7/8 in., 96.7 grams (9.5 x 9.8 cm, 3.109 troy ounces)
Bequest of Alphonso T. Clearwater, 1933 (33.120.295)
Small, three-legged pots for serving milk or cream are among the most charming products of the eighteenth-century silversmith's shop. English and American consumers at first drank their tea "neat" in the Chinese manner, but they began to add milk by the 1720s, when Matthew Prior published his poem "To a Young Gentleman in Love": "He thank'd her on his bended Knee; Then drank a Quart of Milk and Tea." An elongated scalloped lip and scrolled handle enliven the pear-shaped body of this nicely proportioned example. It is engraved with the arms of the Brown family of Providence, Rhode Island, and was probably ordered by Moses Brown (17381836) in 1763 on the occasion of his marriage to his eighteen-year-old cousin Anna Brown (17441773).