Attributed to Christian Wiltberger American

Not on view

This handsome tea and coffee service (1980.503.1--.4), although unmarked, has been attributed to the Philadelphia silversmith Christian Wiltberger on the basis of style. Stately and dignified, with its fluted forms and generous proportions, it represents the fully matured Neoclassical style. The service belonged to Eleanor Parke (Nelly) Custis (1779–1852), granddaughter of Martha Washington, who married George Washington's nephew Lawrence Lewis (1767–1839) on February 22, 1799. Family tradition holds that the service was a gift from General Lafayette and his son, who were close friends of the family. In addition to the matching bands of bright-cut ornament, each piece is engraved with the Lewis crest and with the script monogram "LEPL" for Lawrence and Eleanor Parke Lewis. In place of the customary urn or flame-shaped finial, cast eagles surmount three of the pieces, especially appropriate for America's first family.

Coffeepot, Attributed to Christian Wiltberger (American, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1766–1851 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Silver, American

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