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

Date: ca. 1765

Geography: Made in Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Culture: American

Medium: Silver

Dimensions: 4 7/8 x 7 7/16 x 4 13/16 in. (12.4 x 18.9 x 12.2 cm); 12 oz. 10 dwt. (388.7 g)

Classification: Silver

Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Varick Stout, 1946

Accession Number: 46.40.1


American silver sauceboats, also called butter boats, first appeared around 1725–30 and were intended to hold the melted butter, gravy, or sauces served with meat and vegetable dishes. Sauceboats were usually made in pairs or occasionally in sets of four, to be placed at either side of the table for easy access. The earliest models, following French and English fashion, had two pouring lips and two handles, but by the 1740s single-lipped vessels became the norm. With their scalloped upper rims, freestanding double-scroll handles, bulbous knees, and pad feet, the Revere sauceboats epitomize Rococo styling. Each is inscribed on its underside with the initials "M" over "M R" for Ruth Coney and Mungo Mackay, who were married in 1763. Mungo Mackay was a Scots sea captain whom the silversmith paid in 1781 for "freight on some goods from France."