This teapot, commissioned by Moses Michael Hays (1739-1805), is recorded in Revere's Daybook in 1783. Hays was Revere's only Jewish client and one of Revere's major patrons, placing twenty-five orders with the silversmith between 1783 and 1792. This teapot and its companion cream-jug (lot 74) comprise the very first of Hays's commissions from Revere. Beyond the roles of patron and craftsman, Hays and Revere shared a connection to Freemasonry, as both were members of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, serving together as Grand Master and Deputy Grand Master in 1791.
Hays's commissions from Revere are discussed in Jeannine Falino, "The Customers of Paul Revere," in J. Falino and G.W.R. Ward, New England Silver & Silversmithing, 2001. See also Jane Bortman, "Moses Hays and his Revere Silver," The Magazine Antiques, October 1954, pp. 304-305.
Other examples of Revere silver made for Moses Michael Hays include a pair of wine cups of 1792, sold Sotheby's, New York, 23 January 2011, lot 122, a pair of "Ragout Spoons" of 1786, sold Sotheby's, New York, 20 January 2012, lot 100, and a pair of “butter boats” or sauce boats which sold in these Rooms, 23 January 2014, lot 82.
This teapot is one of only six known drum-form teapots by Revere, with four now in public collections. A second teapot is in the collection of Yale University Art Gallery, and is illustrated in Buhler & Hood, American Silver in the Yale University Art Gallery, 1970, p. 190, fig. 244. A third teapot, in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, is recorded in Revere's Daybook in 1782, ordered by Thomas Hichborn (Kathryn C. Buhler, American Silver 1655-1825, 1972, p. 420, fig. 368). A fourth example is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, circa 1782, and engraved with the monogram of Stephen and Isannah (Hichborn) Bruce. A fifth teapot, in the collection of the Henry Ford Museum, is illustrated in Marvin Schwartz, Collectors' Guide to Antique American Silver, 1975, p. 67, no. 68. The sixth teapot, engraved with the monogram CC, sold in these Rooms, 24 January 2013, lot 54.