Pitcher

1790–1810
Ebenezer Moulton (American, 1768–1824)


Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Dimensions

26 x 20.3 x 13.3 cm (10 1/4 x 8 x 5 1/4 in.)

Accession Number

1977.157

Medium or Technique

Silver

Not On View

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Silver hollowware

The raised pitcher is of barrel form; it has an applied hollow handle set opposite the drawn flaring spout. The angular handle rises from the top edge and joins the body just below the center. There is an applied gadrooned molding at the top edge of the body and an applied molding at the circular base.


Ebenezer Moulton was a member of the large Moulton family of silversmiths from Newbury and Newburyport. He worked in both the latter city and in Boston. As observed by Martha Gandy Fales, a noted silver scholar, “Of all the Moultons, it was Ebenezer who produced the most interesting silver, much of it while he had his shop in Boston.” This large pitcher, made for a Salem mariner, is a simple yet classically elegant example of his work. Moulton’s best-known work is a large presentation pitcher in the Museum’s collection, which was engraved by Thomas Wightman and presented to Isaac Harris in 1810 for his efforts in extinguishing a fire in the Old South Church.

This text has been adapted from “Silver of the Americas, 1600-2000,” edited by Jeannine Falino and Gerald W.R. Ward, published in 2008 by the MFA. Complete references can be found in that publication.

Inscription

"SSW" within a circular garland engraved under spout.

Markings

"MOULTON" struck twice on underside of bottom
Ada Mark * F4763

Provenance

The family history indicates original ownership by Stephen Webb (b. 1756), a mariner from Salem, Massachusetts. Presumably descended in the family to Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Webb Sabine; given in their memory by their children in 1977.

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. John W. Laverack, Mr. John L. Sabine, Mrs. Andrew C. Marsters in memory of our parents, Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Webb Sabine