Urgent Museum Notice

George III coffee pot

Close up of George III coffee pot

Silver coffee pot features a tall, baluster-shaped body, swan-neck spout, and a wooden scroll handle. In keeping with the Neoclassical style, the pot is smooth, simple and relatively unadorned.

Hester Bateman, George III coffee pot, 1780; Silver, 12 1/4 x 9 1/4 x 4 5/8 in.; National Museum of Women in the Arts; Silver collection assembled by Nancy Valentine, purchased with funds donated by Mr. and Mrs. Oliver R. Grace and family

George III coffee pot
Hester Bateman

Hester Bateman inherited her silver workshop after her husband’s death in 1760, and it was only then that the business began to flourish. The Bateman workshop produced domestic items—coffee pots, tea urns, cruets, teapots, salvers, goblets, salts, sugar tongs, and flatware—integrating technological advances with classical design to attract a burgeoning middle-class market. Working in an industry dominated by men, Bateman and her workshop were incredibly successful, and she remains known as one of England’s finest silversmiths.

Since coffee and tea were never served at the same time in the 18th century, the shape of each vessel developed in a distinct direction. Deriving from an early cylindrical form, akin to a lighthouse, coffee pots are typically taller than teapots. This coffee pot features a swan-neck spout and a wooden scroll handle. Its body is shaped like a baluster, and it is balanced on a spreading foot base. Its tall cylindrical body is also akin to the shape of an urn, a hallmark of the Neoclassical style, which was inspired by the forms and designs of ancient Greece and Rome. Urns were common vessels in ancient times and thus became a popular Neoclassical silver motif.

Artwork Details

  • Artist

    Hester Bateman
  • Title

    George III coffee pot
  • Date

  • Medium

  • Dimensions

    13 3/4 x 9 x 5 in.
  • Donor Credit

    Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Hugo Schiattareggia
  • On Display