Made by Benjamin Harbeson, American, 1728 - 1809

Made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, North and Central America

c. 1765-1775

Copper, brass; wood handle

Height: 9 1/2 inches (24.1 cm)

Curatorial Department:
American Art

* Gallery 109, American Art, first floor

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Joseph E. Temple Fund, the J. Stogdell Stokes Fund, and the John T. Morris Fund, 1977

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Benjamin Harbeson became one of Philadelphia's most successful metal craftsmen. His trade card includes an image of a coffeepot identical to this example.

Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art Handbook (2014 Edition)

    Coffeepots of this type were popular in England during the second half of the eighteenth century. The wide base provided space for coffee grounds to collect, and the extended wooden handle and incurving profile protected the user from contacting the heated pot. This is the only such coffeepot marked by a colonial American coppersmith, Benjamin Harbeson of Philadelphia, whose trade card declared, "My work is all Stampt [stamped]," and included an image of a similar pot that he made and sold. David Barquist, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2014, pp. 264-265.

  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections

    This form of coffeepot, which derived from earlier Middle Eastern examples, was common in late seventeenth- and early eighteenth- century Dutch and English households, and was most often made of brass, copper, or a similar metal alloy. Its wide, flaring base provided the broadest possible contact with the fire, while the extended wooden handle protected the user from the heat that radiated up its tapered sides. Bearing the mark of the Philadelphia metalsmith Benjamin Harbeson under its handle, this coffeepot is the only known American example of the form. In comparison to its English prototypes, Harbeson's version exhibits more refined proportions and superior workmanship. Harbeson became one of the city's most successful metal craftsmen, and a trade card promoting his shop includes an image of an identical coffeepot among a wide range of other domestic copper and brass goods. Jack L. Lindsey, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 259.

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