The coffee urn was recently discovered on the west coast of America. It will be up for sale at Bonhams’ Annual Scottish Sale in Edinburgh on August 29.
Although 16 Scottish coffee urns of its type and period are known to exist, they were all manufactured in Edinburgh.
This urn, however, was made in Dundee around 1740 by Alexander Johnstone, who had served his apprenticeship with a leading Edinburgh maker and would have been well aware of current Edinburgh high fashion.
Johnstone led a fascinating life. When not making silver, he was an active Jacobite and, as a member of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Life Guards, he was on the winning side at the Battle of Prestonpans in 1745. His fortunes suffered a downturn at the Battle of Culloden and he was subsequently captured by the Hanoverian forces.