The engraved monogram is that of Peter Wilson (1745-1825) and his wife Catherine (Duryea).
Peter Wilson, born in Scotland and educated at the University of Aberdeen, was an important early Greek and Latin scholar, renowned for his teaching abilities. Wilson emigrated to New York in 1763 and took a post as principal of Hackensack Academy in New Jersey. He served in the New Jersey Assembly from 1777-1781 and continued to hold office after the Revolution. In 1789, he became professor of Greek and Latin languages at Columbia University, a position which he held until his retirement in 1820. Upon the retirement of William Samuel Johnson from the presidency of the school in 1800, Wilson and another colleague served as interim presidents. He published several treatises and editions of Greek and Roman texts, and held a chair at Columbia in Grecian and Roman Antiquities.
Myer Myers had many important patrons among the intellectual society of New York. A pyriform coffee pot by Myers, with the same spout as the present coffee pot, belonged to William Samuel Johnson (1727-1819), the first president of Columbia College. It is engraved with the initials CI (for Charity Johnson, his mother) and I over WS&A (for Johnson and his wife Anne). The Johnson coffee pot is now in the collection of Columbia University, along with a portrait of Wilson, by Waldo and Jewett.
A similar coffeepot with a tuck-in base made by Myers for the Livingston family sold at Sotheby's, New York, June 23, 1988, lot 244.
An exhibition of Myers's work, which spanned for more than 50 years and includes examples of rococo and neoclassical design, will be presented by Yale University Art Gallery in 2001.
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Peter Wilson, by George W. Maynard, 1902, after the original by Waldo & Jewett, Courtesy of the Collection of the New-York Historical Society