Pitcher

about 1855
William Gale & Son (active 1850–1858 and 1863–1866), William Gale, Sr. (American, 1799–1864), William Gale, Jr. (American, 1825 or 1831–1885)


Object Place: New York, New York, United States

Dimensions

33.3 x 21.5 x 17 cm (13 1/8 x 8 7/16 x 6 11/16 in.)

Accession Number

65.1199

Medium or Technique

Silver

On View

Forkner and Gill Family Gallery (Gallery 238)

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Silver hollowware

The pitcher’s raised inverted pyriform body sits on a short-stemed, molded foot. Its slender curving neck is flat-chased on both sides with square-ish foliate cartouche-like decorations. Both the body and foot are encircled with deeply embossed flowers and scrolls. On the body the decoration is arranged to terminate near the hollow double-scrolled handle. Stamped bands of egg and dart molding decorate the rims and junctures of the body, neck and foot.


This pitcher is similar in style to the four-piece Gale tea set (cat. no. 191), which also belonged to the Tweedy/Tiffany family, although it displays delicate floral repousséd and chased decoration in lieu of the former’s rusticated grapevine motif. Further, the less exuberant decoration is confined to specific areas of the vessel and not laced overall, as in the four-piece set. The variation in motif and the date mark of 1855 suggest that this pitcher was a later addition to the set.

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

"LCL" entwined monogram in script on the body to the right of the handle; "To / D.O.T." on the left. Both inscriptions are in reserves framed by c-scrolls, flowers and foliage.

Markings

"WM GALE & SON " struck incuse; stamped "W G & S" within an oval incuse; "1855" within a diamond; and "NEW-YORK" incuse; all struck above and below center point.

Provenance

This pitcher is related to a four-piece tea service by the same maker (see 65.1195-1198) presented to the donor's great-grandmother-in-law, Maria Louisa Tweedy, at the time of her marriage on November 22, 1852 to Dexter Oliver Tiffany. The pitcher bears a later maker's date mark (1855) and was apparently purchased at a later date. Both pitcher and tea service descended to the son of the original owner, Dexter O. Tiffany, Jr., then to his half-sister, Maria Louisa Tiffany, the namesake of the original owner. The next owner of the silver was the daughter of the Elizabeth Tweedy (sister of Tiffany's first wife, Maria Louisa Tweedy Tiffany), whom Dexter O. Tiffany, Sr. married after Maria died in 1858. Elizabeth Tiffany's daughter, also named Maria Louisa, gave the silver to her son, James O. Murray, the deceased husband of the donor. The pitcher's "LCL" monogram has not been identified.

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. James O. Murray