American Silversmiths

John Potwine
Sarah Hill
(Abt 1676-After 1703)
John Potwine


Family Links


1. Mary Jackson
2. Elizabeth Lyman

John Potwine
  • Born: 1698, Boston MA
  • Marriage (1): Mary Jackson on 20 Apr 1721 in Boston MA
  • Marriage (2): Elizabeth Lyman on 7 Feb 1771 in East Windsor CT
  • Died: 16 May 1792, East Windsor CT

  General notes:


  Events in his life were:

  • Alternate Mark tentatively attributed by Winterthur; found on a spoon that dates from the very end of Potwine's career, if the mark is indeed his.

  • Alternate Mark
  • Apprenticed about 1712 to William Cowell in Boston MA 9
  • He worked in 1715-1737 as a gold- and silversmith in Boston MA 4

  • Porringer, c 1720-1730
    Museum of Fine Arts, Boston 10
    h: 1 7/8"
    d" 5 1/8" (lip)
    wt: 7 oz, 5 dwt
    Engraved on handle "T over T H" for Thomas and Hanna (Cushing) Hill

  • Porringer, c 1720-1730
    Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
    Engraved H over A star T. The handle form is identical to one c 1710 by John Coney in the Boston Museum of Art.

  • Snuff box, c 1730
    Moore Collection at Providence College 23
    h: 1"
    w: 2 1/4"
    l: 3 5/8"
    wt: 3.3 oz
    Possibly a unique form, the split center panels are spring loaded and slide open under the outer rim.
  • Appointed in 1734 as Clerk of the Market in Boston MA 3
  • He worked circa 1737-1761 as a silversmith and merchant in Hartford CT
    An early patron in Hartford was Roger Wolcott, later governor of the colony. Among other things, Potwine made a silver rapier hilt, now privately owned. In his daybook (1752-53), a note recording the sending of "Spanish Dolers" to Daniel Henchman, a former partner, indicates he may have given up silversmithing, since this was the coin from which much early silver was wrought. His Hartford store carried silks, "taffetys, lawns, crimson callimincos," as well as chocolate, mace and nutmeg. 3

  • Sword, c 1740-1770
    Private Collection 14
    l: 33" (total sword)
    Traditionally supposed to have belonged to Governor Wolcott, Potwine's neighbor in East Windsor.
  • Beaker, c 1756
    First Congregational Church East Windsor CT 14
    h: 4 3/4"
    One of a pair presented to the church by Governor Roger Wolcott in 1756.
  • He was a partner circa 1761 with Charles Whiting in Hartford CT as POTWINE & WHITING. 3
  • He worked circa 1790 as a silversmith and merchant in East Windsor CT thought there is some doubt that he was still making any silver at this point. 3

John married Mary Jackson on 20 Apr 1721 in Boston MA. (Mary Jackson was born on 24 May 1698 in Boston MA and died on 31 Mar 1776 in Coventry CT.)

John next married Elizabeth Lyman on 7 Feb 1771 in East Windsor CT. (Elizabeth Lyman was born on 8 Dec 1702 in Northampton MA and died on 19 Apr 1778.)

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