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Cream pot (part of a three-piece coffee service)

Wilmington, Delaware

c. 1808


Thomas McConnell (1768–1825)


6 in x 5-1/4 in x 2-7/8 in



Credit Line

On loan from Winterthur, gift of Mrs. Earle R. Crowe

Accession Number



“AJ” is engraved in script on both sides of the body; “M:CONNELL” is stamped into the foot ring below the handle; “A J [obliterated by a possible repair] 1806 to M.W.C. 1806-1847 to M.C.W. 1876” is engraved inside the foot.


The coffee service was originally owned by Ann Jefferis (1791–1822). Ex coll. Mrs. E. Tatnall (Mary Corbit) Warner. See the text for its complicated ownership history.


The three-piece coffee service (acc. nos. 1972.108, 1972.109, and 1972.110) is engraved with the initials of Ann Jefferis, who married David Wilson Jr. in 1808.  She died in 1822, seven years before her husband declared bankruptcy and had to sell all of his assets to satisfy debts. At the 1829 auction of his furnishings, Ann’s mother, Deborah Hunt Jefferis, who likely gave this silver to Ann initially, reacquired it and, given its subsequent ownership, likely returned it to the family through gift to Ann’s only surviving child, Mary, who was the mother of Mrs. Warner, the donor.  Mrs. Warner had the ownership history engraved insides of the feet of the coffeepot and the creamer.

The sugar bowl appears to have McConnell’s maker’s mark struck over an existing mark.  This evidence suggests that he may have started with an existing sugar bowl and copied its features for the coffee and cream pots.  That might explain differences between the handles of the creamer and sugar bowl, including a slightly different overall shape, a different molding profile on the outside of the strap, and a different scroll device applied to the lower back.


Robert L. Raley, “Restoration of the David Wilson Mansion,” Delaware Antiques Show catalogue (Wilmington, Del., December 1968), pp. 67, 69.

Ian M.G. Quimby, American Silver at Winterthur (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1995), cat. 408.

Zimmerman, A Storied Past, pp. 214-215.