Beer pitcher


Bailey & Co.

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General Description

This pitcher is an excellent example of the influence of Russian metalwork on American silver design during the third quarter of the 19th century. Russian smiths were famous for work that imitated non-metallic materials such as textiles and wood. While it was known that American firms in Boston and New York worked in the Russian taste in the late 1870s and early 1880s, this pitcher is the only known example from Philadelphia and pre-dates the others by nearly a decade. Consequently it is an important discovery.

This pitcher's shape is taken from contemporary wooden prototypes. The use of hops and barley on the handle indicates that it was intended for beer.

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), 342.

  • DMA unpublished material.

Web Resources

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