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Hot-water urn

England, probably Sheffield

c. 1808


19 1/4 in x 12 5/8 in x 10 1/2 in


Silver on copper

Credit Line

Historic Odessa Foundation, The David Wilson Mansion, Inc.,

Accession Number



"AJ” is engraved in florid script on the front of the body.


Ex coll. Mrs. E. Tatnall (Mary Corbit) Warner. The urn was first owned by Ann Jefferis (1791–1822), but its subsequent ownership is not recorded until it became the property of The David Wilson Mansion, Inc. See the text for possible paths of descent.


The initials on this urn are those of Ann Jefferis, who married David Wilson Jr. in 1808.  Hot-water urns were sufficiently unusual and valuable that they were often listed in property inventories and other historical records.  After Ann Jefferis’s death in 1822, all of her possessions, including her urn, passed to her husband.  However, neither the urn nor other silver marked "AJ" (see the coffee service, acc. nos. 1972.108-.110) was listed in the detailed 1829 auction accounts from the sale of Wilson’s house contents to satisfy his debts.  It may have been among undesignated silver bought by Ann's mother at the sale, or perhaps it was sold privately beforehand.  Details are not known, but the urn later re-entered the family of Wilson descendants, perhaps when Ann’s only surviving daughter, Mary Wilson, married Daniel Corbit in 1847.


Raley, “Restoration,” 69, pl. 8 (pictured but not discussed).

Hotchkiss, “Wilson-Warner House,: 888, pl. IV.

Zimmerman, A Storied Past, 216-217.