Governor William Livingston Silver Coffee Pot, ca. 1787

Value (2008) | $5,000 Auction

Well, I've had it for somewhere between 25 and 30 years packed away. I recently moved to Iowa from Pennsylvania and rediscovered it. It came from my in-laws, and I'm not sure which in-law because both of them were descendants of William Livingston.

Livingston's the New Jersey governor. Do you know when he was governor?

1778 or 1776. I know he was the first governor.

Well, that would be 1776. And that's pretty exciting. And he died in 1790. But in 1787, he was in the Continental Congress and signed the Constitution. It's a very typical form from the American Federal period, after the Revolutionary War and before the War of 1812. The handle is made out of a hardwood. Often they're made out of pear wood and then stained dark to look like ebony. And it probably was ebonized and has faded. Coffee pots are quite rare. In early American silver, you'll find ten teapots for every coffeepot that you find. This is an American pot, I'm almost sure made in Philadelphia right around 1787. And it may have been part of a larger set. And if we do a little research with the New Jersey Historical Society, they may be able to tell you that it was a teapot that he also owned and it may have the maker's mark, so we can put the history together. Now, I suppose the question is how much is it worth? I would say where it's unmarked but it has the great history from the Livingston family that it is worth $5,000 in the auction market. If we can identify it by a particular maker, we could probably double that value. So let's get doing some research and hope you have good luck finding it. Thank you for coming to the Roadshow.

Okay. Thank you very much.

Appraisal Details

Northeast Auctions
Portsmouth, NH
Appraised value (2008)
$5,000 Auction
Wichita, KS (July 12, 2008)
18th Century
Coffee Pot
Silver, Wood

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