Meriden Britannia Company ( American, 1852 - 1898 )
Rogers, Smith and Company ( American, 1857 - 1877 )
- c. 1871
During the mid-19th century, manufacturers introduced steam-powered drop and roller presses, and utilized both for the formation and decoration of wares. While flatware and shallow holloware could be stamped on a drop press, the production of holloware of significant depth, such as coffeepots and vases, often involved both stamping and spinning. The body of this coffeepot was spun over a chuck rotating on a lathe, while the handle, spout, finial and legs were cast and then soldered to the body.
While it bears the mark of Rogers, Smith and Company of New Haven, Connecticut, the prominent firm Meriden Britannia Company of nearby Meriden advertised this coffeepot as model no. 1884 in its trade catalogues. Therefore, it is possible that Rogers, Smith and Company either produced the piece under license or purchased the blank body from Meriden Britannia Company and then completed it, both common business arrangements during the period.
Charles L. Venable, Silver in America, 1840-1940: A Century of Splendor (Dallas, Texas: Dallas Museum of Art; New York, New York; Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1994), 78-79, 332.