Hot Water Urn

This silversmith was free by patrimony in 1771. The term free indicates the year in which the silversmith received the freedom of a city company, usually the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths in London. Freedom, which guaranteed certain privileges, could be earned in one of two ways: through the completion of an apprenticeship; or by inheritance […]

Tea Set

In the 1876, in an effort to reduce the power of the feudal lords known as samurai, the Japanese Meiji government banned the wearing of swords. This move, coupled with the government’s increasing support of mechanized production, had an adverse impact on metalworkers, many of whom made their living fashioning ornamental fittings for swords. Seeking […]


Coffee, widely consumed throughout the Middle East, was introduced to Europe during the early seventeenth century by Turkish traders. Although enjoyed as a domestic drink, coffee was first popularized through coffee houses. Britain’s first opened in Oxford in 1650, and establishments in London soon followed. The arrival of coffee had a profound effect on social […]