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Wittich, Christian Charles Lewis
Place Made:
Charleston South Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
silver, with wooden handle
HOA: 11-1/2″; WOA: 11-1/2″
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: Silver teapot with removable lid and wooden handle, decorated with an incise leaf border at the dome of the top, skirting the pot, and around the foot base. A cuff of leaves serrated on the edges separates the body of the pot from the foot base.

INSCRIPTION: Engraved on side of body with script initials “DW” contained within a laurel wreath.

MARK: Struck twice with an oval intaglio “CW” mark on either side of the top handle socket.

MAKER: Christian Charles Lewis Wittich (working 1785-1804) was born in Germany and arrived in Charleston, South Carolina about 1785, announcing in the local paper “his respectful compliments to the Ladies and Gentlemen of the city in particular and to the public in general,” and informing them that he was a goldsmith and jeweler “in every branch of his profession, setting stones, making and mending buckles, and doing all kinds of Jewellry work for the neatest taste, on the shortest Notice and for very moderate Prices.” He advertised again in 1795 as a “Working Jeweller, Gold and Silversmith,” and mentioned a number of items that he imported. A third advertisement, in 1799, mentioned a larger variety of imports, from silver toothpicks to plated spurs. Wittich formed a partnership with his brother, Frederick, whom had just arrived from Germany, in November 1802. The mark for this partnership period was an intaglio “C.F. Wittich” in a long oval. This arrangement was apparently dissolved five years later, in 1807, when Charles advertised that he was to return to Germany. In 1811, however, Charles was still in town (or back in town), listed as a goldsmith in the letters of administration for the estate of Hannah Hamlin. It is not know what happened to him after 1811, although a Charles Wittich was listed as a bank porter in the 1813 Charleston directory. See E. Milby Burton, “South Carolina Silversmiths 1690-1860 (Charleston, SC: Charleston Museum, 1967).

FORM: For most of the eighteenth century the accouterments for tea and coffee 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:
Gift of Frank L. Horton