Paul Revere Heritage Project


Silver works - good buisiness sense, craftsmanship and style

The style of Revere’s works has proven to be exceptionally popular over time. Items produced in his shop were well known in colonial Boston and even today you can find hundreds of Paul Revere-style housewares on eBay for under $10. Some people think that the success cold simply be attributed to his fame as the great revolutionary hero. It certainly worked for Sam Adams’s brewing company. But unlike Adam’s beer that was considered to be quite bad by his contemporaries, Revere’s products were extremely popular in Boston even before the Revolution. So what was his secret? The answer probably lays in the combination of good business sense, craftsmanship and style.

In some texts PR is described as a silversmith for the wealthy, but the daybooks of his shop that survived to our days document that among more than 5,000 products crafted by the shop there were many small and affordable items such as buckles, buttons, rings and beads. What modern day retail would call a wide product mix gave Rever’s brand a broad appeal that extended beyond just the wealthy circle.

Smart marketing was not the only reason why few other silversmiths could match Revere’s success. Craftsmanship and the quality of the products were the other key reason. Revere learned his trade form his father who was also well known for his high quality work. One of the skills that distinguished him from others was that he was not only an expert smith but also a skilled engraver and one of the few craftsmen who could complete a piece of silver, even to the engraved decoration. There are many documented examples of Rvere’s outstanding engineering talent. One of which was the design of the first Massachusetts gun powder mill that he established later during the Revolution. To learn about the process Revere visited the only existing mill in colonial America located in Philadelphia and although he was only allowed to view the production once he successfully designed the first mill in Massachusetts.

And finally the style of Rever’s silver was something that deserves special appreciation. Both him and his father followed the classical tradition of design that originated in London by Adam brothers. The pieces could be recognized by the streamlined clean form that gives them a contemporary look by even today’s standards.

Even though PR is most known for the items he made of silver he also worked with other metals such as gold and copper. In fact the first plating of the dome of the Massachusetts Old State house in the city of Boston was produced by Revere’s shop.

Ironically Paul Revere works of silver are considered to be the last great hand-made pieces made in America and worldwide before the age of mass production. At the same time Revere actively participated in establishing machine production facilities which he believed were the foundation of the new American economy.

You can view 28 beautiful silver pieces from various collection in the virtual galery of Revere's silver.