Daniel Smith and Robert Sharpe
English, active c. 1763; 1780–1778; 1788
Coffee urn, 1779
55.1 x 28.7 x 25.8 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Acquired with the assistance of a repatriation grant from the Government of Canada through the Cultural Property Export and Import Act and with the assistance of The Winnipeg Art Gallery Foundation Inc., Mr. J. Derek Riley, the Honourable Otto E. Lang, Madam Justice Deborah J. McCawley, and Mr. A. Lorne Campbell
As a British naval officer, Captain Henry Harvey played an important role in Canadian history when he arrived at Quebec with reinforcements, just after the American Revolutionary forces had withdrawn in 1776. The urn, salver, and candlesticks, however, were not presented to honour Harvey’s military service, but rather in recognition of his provision of safe convoy for the rich annual fur trade. The presentation of silver (in this case gifted by London merchants establishing trade between England and Quebec) was a customary way to recognize outstanding service to the country, at home or overseas. These four silver pieces—The Captain Henry Harvey Presentation Silver—are remarkable for their aesthetic quality as well as for being a tangible reminder of events significant to the historical and economic development of Canada.