Teapot and coffee pot

ARTIST / MAKER: Anthony Rasch (maker)
DATE: ca. 1818 (made)
PLACE: United States (made)
MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES: Silver with wooden handles

Anthony Rasch von Tauffkirchen (ca.1778-1858) was a Bavarian-born silversmith who, after training in Germany, moved to Philadelphia in 1804. He began working in the silversmithing firm of Jean-Simon Chaudron and by 1809 was made a partner of the business. Chaudron and Rasch did not see any significant success and by 1817, Rasch had partnered with George Willig. With investment from Willig’s father their work increased and the business grew, however, the crash of America’s economic system forced Rasch to declare insolvency in July 1819. Rasch moved to New Orleans and set up a new merchant business in 1820 where he stayed for the rest of his life, becoming an established member of the community.

Rasch’s work is considered bold and ornamental for silver vessels produced in the United States in the early 19th century, and during the Willig partnership, it was known for large handwrought silver pieces with cast decoration, that were sold across the east coast of America in Boston, Maryland and Philadelphia.

A teapot and coffeepot of identical form marked by Rasch are part of a set presented in 1818 to the daughter of Johnston Blakely, a Captain in the United States Navy who was lost at sea during a battle against British warships in 1814. In French Empire style, the vessels incorporate eagle spouts and finials, the bald eagle being the national bird of the United States since 1782.