Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
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Chocolate pot

Maker:
François Thomas Germain (French, Paris 1726–1791 Paris, master 1748)
Date:
1765–66
Culture:
French, Paris
Medium:
Silver and wood
Dimensions:
H. 9-1/4 in. (23.5 cm.) with handle 8 3/4 in. (22.2 cm.)
Classification:
Metalwork-Silver
Credit Line:
Bequest of Catherine D. Wentworth, 1948
Accession Number:
48.187.407
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 545
Chocolate was introduced into France in the late seventeenth century, and it quickly became popular as a morning beverage in particular. A number of French prints from this period illustrate fashionable couples drinking chocolate, indicating that this new hot drink had gained immediate acceptance. Hot chocolate needed to be stirred in order to prevent the chocolate from settling at the bottom of the pot. Thus, most French chocolate pots were equipped with a hole in the lid, concealed by a small cover that swiveled, through which a long stick, known as a moussoir, could be inserted for stirring.

This chocolate pot was produced approximately ten years after a similar coffeepot (33.165.1) by the same silversmith, François Thomas German (1726–1791). It has the same basic shape as the earlier coffeepot but is decorated in the emerging Neoclassical style. Despite the swirling channels on the body, the chocolate pot lacks the sense of movement that is so pronounced in the coffeepot, and the symmetrical arrangement of the motifs on the legs and spout reflects the restraining influence of Neoclassicism. Many of the decorative objects produced in France in the 1760s, such as this chocolate pot, are in the so-called Transitional style, in which Rococo stylistic features are combined with newly fashionable Neoclassical motifs.

[Jeffrey H. Munger, 2010]
Marking: [1] Crowned fleur-de-lis, 2 grains de remède, F T G, a fleece (maker's large mark)
[2] Crowned A with laurel branch (Paris charge mark for large silver, 1762-68)
[3] Crowned B (Paris warden's mark, 1765-66)
[4] Rose (Paris discharge mark for large silver, 1762-68)

Location of marks:
[1]-[3] inside cover and on underside
[4] on underside
Catherine D. Wentworth (until 1948; to MMA)
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Coffeepot

Artist: François Thomas Germain (French, Paris 1726–1791 Paris, master 1748) Date: 1757 Medium: Silver with ebony handle Accession: 33.165.1 On view in:Gallery 545

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