User Menu

MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Teapot

Start collecting

The globular apple-shaped teapot was raised upside down and tapers to a flat inset base with cast, molded, splayed foot. The low domed lid has a circular air vent; pinecone finial is riveted to lid within a small depression. A three-part hinge is set flush with the lid; an applied hingeplate is...

Show Full Description

Inscription

"Ex Dono Hon. di Dom. ni Thomae Hancock Armigeri" [The gift of the Honorable Sir/Mr. Thomas Hancock, armsbearer] engraved on scrolled banner beneath armorial. Scratch price of "£ 74=16-0" incised on base. The Hancock arms engraved to the left of the handle display a dexter hand couped and erect gules on a chief gules three cocks; crest a phoeniz or a demi-griffen erased on a torse. The whole surrounded by asymmetrical Rococo decoration of raffles, diaper patternng, scrolls, and pendant foliate decoration; swagged below.

Marks

"Minott" within a rectangle on base below center point.

Provenance

According to family history, the teapot was a gift from the Boston merchant Thomas Hancock (1703-64), to his nephew, Ebenezer Hancock (1741-1819), and his wife, Elizabeth Lowell [dates uncertain], m. 1767. The teapot descended to Ebenezer's son, John Hancock (1774-1859) and Elizabeth (Betsey) Scott (b. London 1830/31), m. 1799. The silver then descended matrilineally to their daughter, Elizabeth Lowell Hancock (1814-1857), and Dr. Joseph Moriarty (1810-1847), m. 1839; to their daughter Elizabeth Lowell Hancock Moriarty (1844-1929) and Charles Henry Wood (1843-1923), m. 1868; to their daughter, Mary Elizabeth Wood (b. about 1876) and George Albert Cole (1877-), m. 1901; to their daughter, Elizabeth Lowell Hancock Cole (1902-1983) and Walter Amory, Jr. (1899-1937), m. 1923. The teapot passed to their son, Walter Amory (b. 1924), and his wife, Shirley Gay Waterman (b. 1947), m. 1947, the donors. Sources: n.a. "An extract from the Wrentham Records," NEHGR 9 (1855):353; Demar R. Lowell, ed., The Historic Genealogy of the Lowells in America, 1639-1899 (Rutland, Vt.: [published by the author] Tutttle Co., printers, 1899), p. 35-59; Edward Wheelwright, "The Lowell Pedigree," NEHGR, 54 (1900):315-19; Clay W. Hlmes, comp., A Genealogy of the Lineal Descendants of William Wood who Settled in Concord, Massachusetts in 1638 (Elmira, N.Y.: no publisher, 1901), p. 75; Vital Records of Gardner, Massachusetts to the end of the year 1849 (Worcester, Ma.: Systematic History Fund, 1907), p. 66-7; Ernest Byron Cole, The Descendants of James Cole of Plymouth, 1633 (New York: Genealogical Publishers, 1908), p. 270; Harvard Class of 1923, Fiftieth Ann'y Report, p. 9; Harvard Class of 1946, 10th Ann'y Report, p. 6; G. Andrews Moriarty, "Moriarty Family of Salem, Massachusetts," NEHGR 101 (1947): 227-28; Clifford K. Shipton, Harvard, Vol III, p. 429-48; Vol VIII, 427-29; vol. XIV, pp. 619-23.

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Amory

about 1760

Object Place

Boston, Massachusetts

Dimensions

19 x 22.6 cm (7 1/2 x 8 7/8 in.)

Accession Number

1991.655

Medium or Technique

Silver

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Silver hollowware