Teakettle, Cornelius Kierstede (1674–ca. 1757), Silver, American


Cornelius Kierstede (1674–ca. 1757)
Made in New York, New York, United States
Overall: 10 1/8 x 10 5/8 in. (25.7 x 27 cm); 47 oz. 13 dwt. (1481.7 g)
Base: Diam. 7 3/8 in. (18.7 cm)
Body: H. 7 7/16 in. (18.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Bequest of James Stevenson Van Cortlandt, 1917
Accession Number:
40.145a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 750
As in England and the Netherlands, tea drinking became increasingly popular in colonial America, creating a demand for specialized tea equipment such as teapots, sugar bowls, and creampots. This bold, pear-shaped teakettle with bail handle is an extremely rare form in American silver. Its decorative bird's-head spout, distinctively Dutch in inspiration, enlivens the unadorned body, which probably sat on an accompanying spirit-lamp stand. The kettle descended in the de Peyster family to Anne (Stevenson) Van Cortlandt (1774–1821)—whose initials are engraved in script on the side of the body—and, ultimately, to the donor.
Inscription: engraved on underside in shaded roman: D / A N(superscript over a device) P
scratched on underside: *46*ou(umlaut over u)nse*
engraved on body to right of spout in interlaced script: AVC [later]

Marking: marked three times on underside and twice on cover: CK (in rectangle)
According to family history, made for Abraham de Peyster (1657–1728); to his daughter, Mrs. John (Elizabeth de Peyster) Hamilton (1694–ca. 1750), New York, NY; descended in the de Peyster family; Anne (Stevenson) Van Cortlandt (c. 1848–1940), New York, NY; to her brother James Stevenson Van Cortlandt (1844–1917), New York, NY; bequest to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1917