Obadiah Rich 3-piece Coin Silver Tea Set, Boston, c. 1840's, retailed by Newell Harding & Co.
Consisting of a tea pot, covered sugar bowl and cream jug, this service is an outstanding example of rococo revival coin silver from Boston. With beautifully repousséd designs of flowers and foliage, both the tea pot and sugar bowl feature bold cast and applied handles of grapes and vines. The two finials are wonderfully cast feather plumes.
Obadiah Rich was the most important silversmith working in Boston from 1830-50 and his work can be found in important museum collections. Unfortunately, Rich marked little of his work but sold most of it through other retailers. This rare set documents the important relationship between Rich and a retailer, in this case Boston's Newell Harding & Co. This service makes one wonder how much coin silver marked N. Harding & Co. was actually made by Obadiah Rich. We've had a few exceptional pieces over the years that we suspect were by Rich.
This rare tea set is marked underneath the tea pot 'O. RICH./ fine/ BOSTON'. The creamer is marked 'N. Harding & Co/ Pure Silver Coin'. The sugar bowl is marked 'N. Harding & Co/ Pure Silver Coin/ BOSTON'. Each piece also bears French import marks (the swan mark) used from 1893-1970, so this service has lead a life of privilege and culture!
The tea pot measures 5.5 inches high by 9 inches across the handle and spout. The combined weight of the set is 54.20 troy ounces. Each piece is monogrammed 'L.R.C.' in an Old English style. It is in very good condition with light wear to the highlights and a small piece of ivory missing from one insulator.
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