Artists & Artisans

Coin Silver Creamer by Paul Revere
Coin Silver Creamer by Paul Revere
SoLD

(December 21, 1734- May 10, 1818)

Paul Revere is often remembered for his famous midnight ride, but he was also a highly skilled silversmith. In fact, he was one of the most renowned silversmiths in the American colonies at the time. His work was known for its intricate designs and high quality, and he was commissioned by many of the leading families in Boston. While Revere's revolutionary activities have undoubtedly overshadowed his silversmithing, his skill in this craft is certainly not forgotten. Coveted by collectors and museums around the world, Paul Revere's famed silver and gold works are some of the most important silver pieces in the world.

Early Career

Paul Revere Jr. was born in Boston in 1734 to Apollos Revoire, also known as Paul Revere Sr. His father, of French Huguenot origin, arrived in colonial Boston in 1715 at the age of 13 and became an apprentice to the skilled goldsmith John Coney. Under Coney's tutelage, he honed his craftsmanship and developed a keen eye for design. Eventually, he established his own goldsmithing shop and adopted the anglicized name "Paul Revere," passing on his expertise to his son, Paul Revere Jr.

Young Paul Revere Jr. followed in his father's footsteps, apprenticing under him and displaying a serious and diligent attitude. When Revere Jr. was 19 years old in 1754, his father passed away, leaving him with the trade and responsibilities. By the 1760s, Paul Revere Jr.'s silver shop flourished. Among his many commissions were buttons for artisans, communion dishes for churches, as well as tea sets and salvers favored by Boston's elite. Notably, he possessed the rare ability to complete an entire piece from raw ingot to the finished product, including engraving. This exceptional skill led to monumental commissions, including the task of engraving plates used for Massachusetts' earliest paper money.

A Revolutionary Shift

Revere’s business faced numerous disruptions as a result of the American Revolution. England imposed heavy taxes on the American colonists in order to repay the English debt accumulated during the French and Indian War. This economic strain caused silver inflation, and all at once a complete sterling silver tea set could cost as much as half the price of a house. With luxury items unaffordable under these circumstances, Revere took action.

Revere's deep passion for silversmithing and his vision for the future of his business played a significant role in motivating his involvement in the Revolution. Beyond his famous midnight ride, his contributions proved crucial in various ways. Notably, he emerged as a leader for the working classes and acted as a bridge between them and more prominent figures like Samuel Adams and John Hancock.


Revere's exceptional skills in silver craftsmanship, particularly his remarkable talent for engraving, proved to be of great value when he began producing political cartoons. These engravings played a crucial role in helping Bostonians, especially those who were unable to read lengthy pamphlets, quickly comprehend the impactful political messages with just a single glance.

Historic Creations

In 1768, on the brink of the American Revolution, Revere crafted the renowned "Sons of Liberty Bowl," which stands as the most celebrated piece of American silver. This exceptional creation is now housed at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and was created to commemorate the ninety-two members of the Massachusetts House of Representatives who boldly refused to withdraw the Massachusetts Circular Letter authored by Samuel Adams and James Otis Jr.

The Massachusetts Circular Letter, distributed throughout the colonies, was a protest against the Townshend Acts of 1767, which imposed taxes on tea, paper, glass and other imported commodities from England. This act further escalated tensions between America and the British Parliament. The bowl is engraved with a dedication to the "Glorious Ninety-Two" and includes references to the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights. Revere’s work transformed these important documents into a three-dimensional historical artifact— a symbol of colonial America's firm resistance against the tyrannical rule of England.

Post Revolution Career

Following his service during the American Revolution, Revere resumed his prominent position in American silver craftsmanship, creating elegant pieces like pitchers, bowls, sauceboats, teapots and creamers. Consequently, Revere's silverwork can be categorized into two distinct periods, separated by the war. His pre-Revolutionary creations display the lasting influence of the Rococo style, characterized by flowing and curvilinear forms, scrolling handles and intricately chased foliate decoration. His post-Revolutionary works primarily adopt a neoclassical style, which had become the favored design aesthetic in America at the time.

Furthermore, there was a notable increase in his shop's output after the war. The daybooks indicate that they produced 1,145 objects before the war and a remarkable 4,210 objects after. This surge in production can be attributed in part to new technical innovations, such as the introduction of a flatting mill, which simplified the production of sheet silver.

Legacy

Revere's silversmithing career undeniably helped shape the American identity. His work was inspired by traditional English silversmithing, but he also incorporated American motifs and symbols. In the present day, the surviving silver works by Revere hold significant artistic and historical worth, and they are highly treasured by collectors and prestigious museums. Institutions like the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts, and the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History proudly house these precious pieces, preserving and showcasing their enduring legacy.

Artists

(December 21, 1734- May 10, 1818)

Paul Revere is often remembered for his famous midnight ride, but he was also a highly skilled silversmith. In fact, he was one of the most renowned silversmiths in the American colonies at the time. His work was known for its intricate designs and high quality, and he was commissioned by many of the leading families in Boston. While Revere's revolutionary activities have undoubtedly overshadowed his silversmithing, his skill in this craft is certainly not forgotten. Coveted by collectors and museums around the world, Paul Revere's famed silver and gold works are some of the most important silver pieces in the world.

Early Career

Paul Revere Jr. was born in Boston in 1734 to Apollos Revoire, also known as Paul Revere Sr. His father, of French Huguenot origin, arrived in colonial Boston in 1715 at the age of 13 and became an apprentice to the skilled goldsmith John Coney. Under Coney's tutelage, he honed his craftsmanship and developed a keen eye for design. Eventually, he established his own goldsmithing shop and adopted the anglicized name "Paul Revere," passing on his expertise to his son, Paul Revere Jr.

Young Paul Revere Jr. followed in his father's footsteps, apprenticing under him and displaying a serious and diligent attitude. When Revere Jr. was 19 years old in 1754, his father passed away, leaving him with the trade and responsibilities. By the 1760s, Paul Revere Jr.'s silver shop flourished. Among his many commissions were buttons for artisans, communion dishes for churches, as well as tea sets and salvers favored by Boston's elite. Notably, he possessed the rare ability to complete an entire piece from raw ingot to the finished product, including engraving. This exceptional skill led to monumental commissions, including the task of engraving plates used for Massachusetts' earliest paper money.

A Revolutionary Shift

Revere’s business faced numerous disruptions as a result of the American Revolution. England imposed heavy taxes on the American colonists in order to repay the English debt accumulated during the French and Indian War. This economic strain caused silver inflation, and all at once a complete sterling silver tea set could cost as much as half the price of a house. With luxury items unaffordable under these circumstances, Revere took action.

Revere's deep passion for silversmithing and his vision for the future of his business played a significant role in motivating his involvement in the Revolution. Beyond his famous midnight ride, his contributions proved crucial in various ways. Notably, he emerged as a leader for the working classes and acted as a bridge between them and more prominent figures like Samuel Adams and John Hancock.


Revere's exceptional skills in silver craftsmanship, particularly his remarkable talent for engraving, proved to be of great value when he began producing political cartoons. These engravings played a crucial role in helping Bostonians, especially those who were unable to read lengthy pamphlets, quickly comprehend the impactful political messages with just a single glance.

Historic Creations

In 1768, on the brink of the American Revolution, Revere crafted the renowned "Sons of Liberty Bowl," which stands as the most celebrated piece of American silver. This exceptional creation is now housed at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and was created to commemorate the ninety-two members of the Massachusetts House of Representatives who boldly refused to withdraw the Massachusetts Circular Letter authored by Samuel Adams and James Otis Jr.

The Massachusetts Circular Letter, distributed throughout the colonies, was a protest against the Townshend Acts of 1767, which imposed taxes on tea, paper, glass and other imported commodities from England. This act further escalated tensions between America and the British Parliament. The bowl is engraved with a dedication to the "Glorious Ninety-Two" and includes references to the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights. Revere’s work transformed these important documents into a three-dimensional historical artifact— a symbol of colonial America's firm resistance against the tyrannical rule of England.

Post Revolution Career

Following his service during the American Revolution, Revere resumed his prominent position in American silver craftsmanship, creating elegant pieces like pitchers, bowls, sauceboats, teapots and creamers. Consequently, Revere's silverwork can be categorized into two distinct periods, separated by the war. His pre-Revolutionary creations display the lasting influence of the Rococo style, characterized by flowing and curvilinear forms, scrolling handles and intricately chased foliate decoration. His post-Revolutionary works primarily adopt a neoclassical style, which had become the favored design aesthetic in America at the time.

Furthermore, there was a notable increase in his shop's output after the war. The daybooks indicate that they produced 1,145 objects before the war and a remarkable 4,210 objects after. This surge in production can be attributed in part to new technical innovations, such as the introduction of a flatting mill, which simplified the production of sheet silver.

Legacy

Revere's silversmithing career undeniably helped shape the American identity. His work was inspired by traditional English silversmithing, but he also incorporated American motifs and symbols. In the present day, the surviving silver works by Revere hold significant artistic and historical worth, and they are highly treasured by collectors and prestigious museums. Institutions like the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts, and the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History proudly house these precious pieces, preserving and showcasing their enduring legacy.