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Circular urn-shape cream pitcher with tall, incurved neck flaring to a curved rim with wide pouring lip on a flared, circular pedestal with stepped, domed foot; engraved in script on body opposite handle "Mrs. Joanna L. Howard / From a Friend / Oct. 27\th 1858." Greek key band at shoulder and beading at rim, shoulder, top of pedestal and edge of foot. Sprigged and tapered S-curve handle with band around lower end. Gold washed interior. 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)
gold (interior wash material)
overall: 7 in x 5 in; 17.78 cm x 12.7 cm
base: 2 1/2 in; 6.35 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Vendor: Antiques Associates at West Townsend
African American
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
Domestic Furnishings
Abolitionist Tea Service
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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