Pitcher

1856
Jones, Shreve, Brown & Co. (active 1855–1858), George B. Jones (1815–1875), Benjamin Shreve (1813–1896), Seth E. Brown (American, 1821–1884)


Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Dimensions

33.5 x 27.5 x 19 cm (13 3/16 x 10 13/16 x 7 1/2 in.)

Accession Number

56.611

Medium or Technique

Silver

Not On View

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Silver hollowware

The pitcher has an extended slender curved neck with ornamented flutes forming raised panels. The neck extends downward to a bulbous lower body that sits on a molded splayed ring. The rim is scrolled with a wide triangular lip; high crooked handle with an incised floral design and acanthus grip.


The flat, linear character of the decoration on this bulb-shaped water pitcher illustrates a reserved aesthetic that contrasts with not only the exuberant naturalism of the Rococo style popular at midcentury but also the self-important large, lobed, gadrooned, and banded bodies of the 1820s and 1830s. Stylized foliage, symmetrical scrolls, and shells organize the six long, curved panels, and the crisp outline of the rim amplifies the linear effect. The swelling lobes that often formed the bodies of hollowware earlier in the century are relegated to the foot of this pitcher, where they conform to the lines of the flat panels of the upper body.

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

"Dr. Charles Mifflin from / GGH / 1856" engraved on side.

Markings

“JONES. SHREVE. BROWN & CO. [incuse] / PURE COIN / BOSTON,” the latter two within rectangles, all in roman letters, struck on bottom.

Provenance

Presented to Dr. Charles Mifflin (1805 – 1875) by Gardiner Greene Hammond (b. 1832), m. Elizabeth Crowninshield in 1856 in Watertown, Massachusetts. The pitcher descended to Gardiner Greene Hammond Jr. (b. 1859), who gave it to his daughter Frances Hammond, the donor, and her husband, MacKinley Helm.

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. MacKinley Helm, in memory of her father, Gardiner Greene Hammond Jr.