The master silversmith Nathaniel Hurd, whose portrait hangs nearby, made this teapot engraved with the crest of the family that commissioned it. Tea was a precious commodity in Colonial America and this silver piece would have held a place of honor at the owner's tea table.
This teapot not only demonstrates Hurd's mastery of the art of forging silver, but of engraving it as well. The design for the coat of arms of the Gibbs family incised on this teapot was probably taken from Guillim's Display of Heraldry, published in 1724. In Hurd's portrait by Copley the words "Display of Heraldry/J. Guillim" are visible on the spine of the large book shown at the sitter's elbow.
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