Ice cream server

Attributed to

Peter L. Krider Company ( American, 1851 - 1888 )

c. 1880
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General Description

In the late 19th century, most pieces of holloware and expensive flatware were fitted into rather elaborate presentation boxes before departing the manufactory. Large firms like Gorham and Tiffany kept on hand stocks of wood, leather, and fabric for boxes and linings assembled by hand. In 1892, Gorham reportedly employed more than 100 male and female workers to produce the 100,000 boxes required that year. Most boxes were covered in fabric or leather and lined with satin, but ornate cases of exotic woods with plush silk interiors housed the most elaborate pieces.

This ice cream server, distinguished by bright-cut decoration in the Japanese taste, survives with its original case stamped by Philadelphia retailer J. E. Caldwell & Co. Although it lacks a maker's mark, it was probably also manufactured in Philadelphia, where firms like Peter L. Krider Co. produced objects of this style and quality.

Adapted from

Charles L. Venable, Silver in America, 1840-1940: A Century of Splendor (Dallas, Texas: Dallas Museum of Art; New York, New York; Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1994), 87, 333.

Web Resources

Metropolitan Museum of Art
Read more about Nineteenth-Century American Silver.