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Circular urn-shape teapot with incurved neck and double-flared hinged lid topped by an urn finial on a flared, circular pedestal with stepped, domed foot; engraved in script on one side of body "Mrs. Joanna L. Howard / From a Friend / Oct. 27\th 1858." Greek key band at shoulder and beading at neck, shoulder, top of pedestal and edge of foot. Sprigged S-curve spout with scalloped base. Sprigged and tapered S-curve handle with raised bands at ends, the lower end attached to body by a stepped oval plate. Body perforated at spout. No marks.
Part of a six-piece coffee and tea service, 2013.0193.01-.06, given to Joanna Louise (Turpin) Howard (1825-1872) of Boston. The Howards were among several socially prominent free black families living in the city's affluent West End in the 1850s. Although the reasons for this splendid gift from a mystery “Friend” are unknown, Mrs. Howard and her husband, Edward Frederick Howard (1813-1893), were active in the antislavery movement and fought to end segregation of Massachusetts public schools in 1855. Their two daughters, Adeline (b. 1845) and Joan Imogene (b. 1850), became distinguished educators, while their son, Edwin Clarence (1846-1912), was the first African-American graduate of Harvard Medical School.
Currently not on view
date made
presentation date
Howard, Joanna Louise Turpin
place made
United States
place used
United States: Massachusetts, Boston
Physical Description
silverplate (overall material)
overall: 10 1/2 in x 9 in; 26.67 cm x 22.86 cm
base: 3 3/4 in; 9.525 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Vendor: Antiques Associates at West Townsend
African American
Coffee Drinking
Tea Drinking
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
Domestic Furnishings
Abolitionist Tea Service
Data Source
National Museum of American History


I am curious as to why this set is listed as silver plate. It appears to be silver. If I had the set in hand, I would be able to tell with some certainty but from your photos this appears to bet the case.

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