University Collections of Art and History

Object Record

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Catalog Number 2008.9.245
Object Name Cup, Coffee
Description This cup is from a service made for Robert Hynam of London and St. Petersburg, Russia (1737-1818).

Robert Hynam was trained as a joiner in London, and was admitted into the Joiner's Company in 1764. In addition to his woodworking skills, by the 1760s Robert was also a watch maker. In the mid-1770s he moved to St. Petersburg, Russia, where he established himself as a watchmaker and a merchant importing English clocks and watches. England's industrial revolution had made her a major producer of luxury goods, and during this period there was a fashion for English goods among the Russian aristocracy.

By 1778 Hynam had achieved some success, writing to a watchmaker in London; "the place I enjoy under H.I.M. [Her Imperial Majesty, Catherine the Great] is the same as a Patent place in England, it is for Life, my Salary is 1200 R or 240 £ Sterling, and from different Russian Gentlemen for the care of their Clocks 65 £… The profits of my trade will be very considerable, if I am well served with Clocks, and Watches from England."

In addition to retailing and repairing clocks and watches, Hynam also made clocks, watches, and other mechanical devices. He was honored for his work, noting that he "was the first Englishman that has had the Honor of being made a Member of the Imperial Academy of St. Petersburg, and the University of Mosco."

The armorial service descended to Robert Hynam's son and grandson, and then passed into the Sevier family, who modeled their arms after the Hynam arms.
Year Range from 1763.0
Year Range to 1767.0
Material Hard Paste Porcelain
Place of Origin Made in Jingdezhen, Decorated in Guangzhou (Canton), China
Collection The Reeves Center
Collector David Sanctuary Howard Collection of Armorial Porcelain Coffee Cups
On View Reeves Center, Chinese Armorial Gallery