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Tea Service

Boehme, Charles Louis
Place Made:
Baltimore Maryland United States of America
Date Made:
HOA: 9-3/4″ (teapot), 9″ (sugar bowl), 5-1/2″ (cream pitcher)
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: Silver tea service consisting of a teapot, covered sugar bowl, and cream pitcher. The bodies are in an oval urn form, partly fluted, and have a band of bright-cut engraving featuring acorns, foliage, and ribbons. The monograms on each piece are contained within a wreath of bright-cut foliate sprays tied with a ribbon. Attached bases are oval with scalloping to match the fluting of the bodies. Teapot and sugar bowl have cast urn finials atop removable lids. The silver handle of the teapot is a replacement (original was wooden); sugar bowl and cream pitcher have strap handles with spurs and squared tops.

INSCRIPTION: Engraved on the sides with the script initials “GCW” within a wreath of bright-cut foliate sprays tied with a ribbon.

MARK: Struck on face of bases with an intaglio script “C L Boehme” mark within an oval reserve; teapot and sugar bowl struck on face of bases with an intaglio script “Sterling” mark within a conforming reserve, cream pitcher struck on face of base with a roman “STERLING” mark within a rectangular reserve.

MAKER: Charles Louis Boehme (1774-1868) came to Baltimore from Philadelphia in 1799, first advertising in May of that year as a “Gold, Silver Smith, and Jeweller” who “makes and sells every article in the above business.” Directories list Boehme on Baltimore Street as a silversmith from 1801 through 1810. After that date no trade is listed. He began to sell and rent real estate about 1806, and devoted himself exclusively to this business after 1814. In 1822, however, a person of the same name is listed on Western Row as a “brick maker.”

FORM: For most of the eighteenth century the accouterments of the tea ceremony were acquired separately and did not necessarily match in style and shape. By the 1790s, all elements of a tea service (coffeepot, teapot, sugar bowl, waste bowl, and cream pitcher) were made somewhat uniformly in style, with the smaller pieces following the form of the coffee and teapots.

Credit Line:
Purchase Fund