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Andrew Ellicott Warner: The Tucker Family Tea and Coffee Service, Baltimore, c. 1840

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This outstanding tea and coffee service, from the Tucker family, important Baltimore merchants, shows the very finest of early repoussé work by this outstanding Baltimore silversmith. In a very early repoussé pattern, each piece of the tea service displays a basket of fruit and flowers motif, surrounded by birds in a robust floral repousséd background.

Both the sugar and waste bowl display the early undulating rim, the pots have handles that are of classical inspiration, with a bold rose on an acanthus leaf based design. The vigorous floral repoussé work includes grape bunches, vines and leaves which acknowledge the prevalent classical tastes of the day.

Some of Warner's account books survive today, and the Tuckers' relationship with Warner is documented there. Although records for this service cannot be found, on July 9, 1840 the Tuckers purchased 6 forks from Warner. These forks weighed 17 troy ounces and 7 pennywieght (very heavy) and cost $34.00, a tremendous sum for six forks in 1840. However, those costs pale in comparison to the silver here, which would have cost from $400.00 to $500.00 – a very large investment for that period. (Many thanks to Jennifer Goldsborough for the information from the Warner account books.)

A later soup tureen - c. 1850 - with the same basket of fruit and flowers pattern is in the collection of the Maryland Historical Society.

Provenance: By descent in the Family.

Condition: Very good antique condition. The cream jug, of identical pattern and period, is matched, bearing a different monogram.

Coffee Pot: 12.5 inches high, 44.75 troy ounces
Teapot: 12 inches high, 42.75 troy ounces
Covered Sugar: 8.75 inches high, 24.45 troy ounces
Waste Bowl: 6.5 inches high, 14.75 troy ounces
Cream Jug: 15.05 troy ounces

Total weight = 141.74 ounces