Today's Hours
Museum: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Gardens: 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Today's Hours
Museum: 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Gardens: 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Revere, Paul
(1735-1818)
Collection: American Collection
Specialty: Silver
Much has been written about the famous citizen, patriot, and silversmith
Paul Revere, but certain interesting facts are worth mentioning here for a
complete understanding and appreciation of Revere's craftsmanship, not
only in silver and gold, but in other metals and engraving as well.

Born the son of the Huguenot silversmith, Apollos Rivoire (Paul Revere,
Sr.) who had learned the trade from John Coney, Paul, Jr., was trained in
his father's shop and in 1757 opened his own business on Cornhill Street,
Boston. At the age of 30, Revere began engraving on copper plates and,
shortly before the Revolution, he executed a series of anti-British
political cartoons which were used as effective propaganda by the
rebellious Colonials. His excellence as an engraver is noted by the fact
that he was chosen to design and engrave the plates for the first issue of
Continental currency, the first official seal of the Colonies, and the
State seal still used by Massachusetts.

Revere's daybooks cover his career as a silver-and goldsmith from 1761 to
1797 and include much, but by no means all, of his work. These daybooks
survive to this day, a fact extremely rare regarding a Colonial craftsman.
They show that Revere made, among other things beads, bracelets, brooches,
necklaces, and earrings from gold, in addition to silver and gold frames
for miniatures (many of them painted by John Singleton Copley), and
surgical instruments.

Following the close of the Revolutionary War, Revere was engaged in other
business activities in addition to silversmithing, engraving and
printing--some to a lesser degree than others. He worked for a time in
harness-making and even found time to practice dentistry. In 1797, Revere
was working in brass, iron, and copper in his bell and cannon factory in
north Boston. It is interesting to note that it was Revere who, in that
year, supplied the copper bolts, brass fastenings, and sheeting for the
1,576 ton frigate "Old Ironsides," the nickname given to the famous U.S.S.
Constitution.

In 1801, Revere established a large copper mill in Canton, Massachusetts,
where he discovered a process for rolling sheet copper and where, in
1808-09, he made the copper plates for Robert Fulton's steamboat boilers.

His son, Paul Revere III, who pre-deceased him, was a maker of spoons and
small wares in silver, while another son, Joseph Warren Revere, worked in
his father's bell and cannon factory. Paul Revere's brother, Thomas, was
also a silversmith of Boston in 1789.