Claret jug

Cologne bottle / Rosewater bottle

1893
Gorham Manufacturing Company (active 1865–1961)


Object Place: Providence, Rhode Island

Dimensions

Overall: 36.8 cm (14 1/2 in.)

Accession Number

2006.1246a-b

Medium or Technique

Silver-gilt, cut glass, amethysts, garnets, moonstones

Not On View

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Silver hollowware

A silver-gilt mounted and gem-set glass claret jug of baluster form, on circular foot, the glass body with cut-glass diamond patterns, the upper body engraved with gilt flower garlands, the silver gilt cagework with bellflower straps and set with amethysts, garnets, and moonstones at intervals, the silver-gilt clad stopper with calyx and beading and set with garnets and moonstones.


Manufacturers from around the world displayed their very best works at international expositions as advertisements for the beauty of their designs and the skills of their artisans. Gorham showed this jug at 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, in Chicago. The combination of cut glass and semi-precious stones within a frame of silver-gilt strapwork gives the jug a jewel-like delicacy. Gorham’s records indicate that the piece required more than 200 hours of labor and cost the enormous sum of $240 to make.

Inscription

Foot engraved "MB" in script; base engraved "1892."

Markings

Marked under base; also marked "S1434"

Provenance

Made with a matching plate or dish for Gorham's display at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago; engraved with the initials "MB," presumably for subsequent owner; later in the sample archive in the Corporate Collection of Lenox-Gorham; made available for auction by the Brown-Forman Corporation, parent company of Lenox from 1983-2005; MFA purchase May 23, 2006, Christie's, New York, sale 1663, lot 39.

Credit Line

Marion E. Davis Fund