Water pitcher

about 1849
Jones, Ball & Poor (1846–1853), John B. Jones (American, 1782–1854), True M. Ball (American, 1815–1890), George B. Jones (1815–1875), Nathaniel C. Poor (1808–1895)

Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts, USA


Overall: 32.4 x 21.6 cm, 806.4 gm (12 3/4 x 8 1/2 in., 1.8 lb.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View




Silver hollowware

Large, raised pear-shaped pitcher with repousse and chased floral decoration around body, with an applied, raised, stepped foot with beaded edge; scrolled handle with acanthus and leafage decoration at top and at both upper and lower junction with the body, opposite a flaring handle; band of beaded decoration at rim; reserve for engraved decoration below the spout, with bow-knot below engraving.

Much American silver of the mid-nineteenth century was produced in relatively small shops and firms, which were often formed by short-lived partnerships. Such was the case in Boston, where a large number of partnerships were active in the industry. The firm of Jones, Ball, and Poor, which produced this handsome presentation pitcher in a florid Rococo-revival style, was in business only a few years under that name. However, firm members, along with other partners, were part of a continuous chain of operations that began in the early nineteenth century and culminated in today’s Shreve, Crump & Low.
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.


On side of pitcher: "H. S. W. / from / J. H. W." Date "1849" scratched on bottom.


Marked on bottom: "JONES BALL & POOR [in rectangle] / BOSTON / PURESILVER COIN" all around the center punch.


According to the family, the engraved initials stand for Henry Sidney Waldo, who presumably presented the pitcher to an as-yet-unidentified recipient; by descent to John Herbert Ross (1925-2002), the great-great-grandson of Henry Sidney Waldo; by descent to the donor.

Credit Line

Gift of John Herbert Ross and Barbara O'Neil Ross