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...
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 soldered underneath lid and body. The cast upper-handle socket is squared at shoulder and has leafy decoration, whereas the lower socket is round, tapering toward vessel. The wooden handle is a replacement. Chased and hatched leafy decoration appears on underside of cast S-scrolled spout having foliated, retracted upper lip; spout is affixed over strainer holes. Decorative engraving of scallop shells, fish scales, diaper patterns, and broken scrolls encircles the lid; a draped mask points toward the spout. Overlapping leaves are engraved at base of the finial; a border of stippled scrolls appears on edge of lid.
"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.
"Minott" within a rectangle on base below center point.
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.
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Amory