John Coney (silversmith)

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John Coney (5 January 1655 – 20 August 1722) was an early American silversmith and goldsmith from Boston, Massachusetts. He specialised in engraving. From the 1690s on, Coney was considered the most important Bostonian silversmith of his day.[1] In 1702, he engraved the paper money for Massachusetts.[2] Coney also designed a version of the seal of Harvard College.[3]

John Coney was the apprentice of and later brother-in-law to Jeremiah Dummer, the first American-born silversmith, he married Mary Atwater, sister of Dummer's wife, in 1694. They were widower and widow, Coney was married twice before, he had twelve children in total, but only five daughters survived beyond infancy.[4]

A silver porringer created by John Coney, c. 1710, Birmingham Museum of Art

His last apprentice, from 1716 until the time of Coney's death, was Apollos Rivoire, father of Paul Revere, and his indirect influence on Revere was considerable.[2][4] Other apprentices included the brothers Samuel (1684–1713) and John (1692–1720) Gray, early silversmiths from Connecticut, and John Burt.

Many examples of his work, including two sugar boxes and two chocolate pots, are in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Other public collections containing Coney's work include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Birmingham Museum of Art, and the Yale University Art Gallery. A silver plate by Coney was sold for $324,750 at Sotheby's in New York in 2002.[5]


  1. ^ Rosenberg, Chaim M. (2007). Goods for sale: products and advertising in the Massachusetts industrial age. Univ of Massachusetts Press. p. 242. ISBN 978-1-55849-580-7.
  2. ^ a b Martello, Robert (2010). Midnight Ride, Industrial Dawn: Paul Revere and the Growth of American Enterprise. JHU Press. p. 432. ISBN 978-0-8018-9758-0.
  3. ^ Birmingham Museum of Art (2010). Birmingham Museum of Art : guide to the collection. [Birmingham, Ala]: Birmingham Museum of Art. p. 106. ISBN 978-1-904832-77-5.
  4. ^ a b Forbes, Esther (1942). Paul Revere and the World He Lived in. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 536. ISBN 978-0-618-00194-1.
  5. ^ "John Coney (silversmith)". New York: Sotheby's. 18 January 2002. Retrieved 25 February 2011.