Liverpool History Society Questions

A selection of Liverpool history questions submitted to the Liverpool History Society

J. Mayer Silver Coffee Pot


I am inquiring about a sterling silver coffee pot or tea pot that my sister found after Hurricane Katrina struck our region. It was obviously of value to someone as it had been secured in a plastic bag.

From what we can tell, it was a product of J. Mayer Silver, the maker was Robert Hennell III, it was made in 1855 and is in incredible condition. It has very elaborate raised carvings of farm animals. According to our research it is sterling silver, made in Liverpool. We cannot find another one like it online anywhere.

Any assistance is greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

Johnnie Easton

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22/06/2009 - Posted by | Joseph. Mayer |

1 Comment »

  1. Hello Jonnie,

    If you refer to the Silver Presentation Lifeboat posting on this blog you should find more information on the Liverpool jeweller Joseph Mayer 1803-86.

    http://liverpoolhistorysocietyquestions.blogspot.com/2009/02/silver-presentation-lifeboat.html

    Joseph Mayer (1803-86) was born in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire. He moved to Liverpool when he was twenty. At first he was apprenticed to his brother-in-law, Joseph Wordley, a jeweller but in 1844-5 Mayer set up his own jewellery and silversmith business. It was probably this enterprise that provided him with sufficient funds to finance his passion for collecting.
    Interest in antiquities

    Mayer’s interest in antiquities began at an early age and his collection covered a wide range of subjects including Wedgwood pottery, Egyptian and Roman artefacts, English paintings and medieval art. Unlike Roscoe who never left England, Mayer travelled abroad regularly. Primarily he travelled on business to observe trends but each of his trips provided the opportunity for him to study and purchase ancient and medieval art.

    In 1852 Mayer opened a museum in Colquitt Street, using works he himself had collected as the exhibits. He had become captivated by the displays at the British Museum and wished his fellow-citizens of Liverpool to have the same opportunity to view the wonders of the past. As well as setting up the museum Mayer was a founder member of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, established in 1848, and a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. In 1867 Mayer gave his collection to the Liverpool Museum (now World Museum Liverpool). The medieval manuscripts, ivories and enamels which made up part of this gift are now in the care of the Walker Art Gallery.

    Best regards
    Rob Ainsworth

    Liverpol History Society

    Comment by Liverpool History | 22/06/2009 | Reply


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