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Tea and coffee service

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

c. 1812


Liberty Browne (1776-1831) and William Seal Jr. (1775-1853)


Coffeepot: 9 ¾ in x 11 ⅝ in x 6 ½ in; teapot: 9 in x 10 ¾ in x 6 in; teapot: 9 in x 10 ½ in x 6 in; sugar bowl: 7 ½ in x 7 ⅛ in x 5 ¼ in (dia); cream pot: 5 ½ in x 5 in x 3 ½ in (dia); waste bowl: 4 ⅝ in x 6 ⅝ in (dia)


Silver and fruitwood (handles)

Credit Line

Historic Odessa Foundation, gift of Ann Chandlee Johnson Kuhn and daughters M. Lawrence Kuhn, Elizabeth Chandlee Kuhn, Susan Ellen Kuhn, in memory of Susan Allibone Budd Johnson

Accession Number



“WRC” is engraved in florid script on the outside body of each object; “BROWNE & SEAL” in relief within an S-shaped banner is stamped into the outside bottom of each object; silver weights are scratched into the outside of each bottom except the coffeepot, the markings on which may have been obliterated by a repair.

Condition Notes

The coffeepot appears to have had the base resoldered.


From William Fisher Corbit (1789–1827) and Rhoda Davis Corbit (1793–1821), the tea set passed through Isaac Davis (1765–1856) to Rhoda’s sister Ann Eliza Davis Budd (1808–1888). It then descended to James Marshall Budd (1841–1913), to Thomas Allibone Budd (1890–1968), and to Susan Allibone Budd (b. 1929) before being donated by her children.


This large and fashionable six-piece tea service included all the requisite pieces: a coffeepot (the tallest pot), two identical teapots (for green and black tea, each shorter than the coffeepot and having a strainer at the base of the spout where it joins the body), a cream pot, a lidded sugar bowl, and a slop bowl (for disposing of tea or coffee dregs).  The vessels for hot liquids have wood handles that insulated the user’s hand.  Each object bears engraved monograms on the body sides.

“WRC” stood for William and Rhoda Corbit, who were married in 1812, the likely time when the set was made.  William Fisher Corbit was a child of William Corbit and his third wife, Sarah Fisher.  Rhoda Davis, of Smyrna, died young, and her husband followed in death six years later, leaving a single 13-year-old child, James.  James seems never to have owned this silver service.  Instead, it passed from Rhoda's father to her sister Ann Eliza Budd, specifying in his will, “all my plate which I may die possessed of, or entitled to, including the service of plate which belonged to her sister Rhoda, and marked with the letters W. R. C."


Zimmerman, A Storied Past, 212-213.