Ball, Black and Company ( American, 1851 - 1874 )


John R. Wendt ( American, 1826 - 1907 )

more object details

General Description

John Rudolf Wendt (1826-1907) was one of the United States' finest silversmiths during the 1860s and 1870s. Born and trained in Germany, Wendt produced many exceptional objects in the Neoclassical taste. The form of this pitcher is inspired by ancient Greek ceramic wine vessels called _oinochoe _excavated in the 18th and 19th centuries. Wendt's specialty of cast ornament is evident in the lion's head on the handle and the medallions on either side of the body. The medallions are based directly on a silver coin minted at Alexandra in Egypt in the 4th century B.C.E. that depicts a deified Alexander with the ram horns of the Egyptian diety Amun, an elephant skin cap, and the goat skin of Athena.

Drawn from

  • Label text [1989.99], Arts of the Americas.
  • DMA unpublished material.
  • Nikolaos Gialourēs, The Search for Alexander: An Exhibition (Boston: Published with the cooperation of the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sciences by New York Graphic Society, 1980), 108.

Web Resources

Art Institute of Chicago
The shape of this John R. Wendt pitcher is based on an oinoche, an ancient Greek ceramic wine vessel. View an example in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Museum of Fine Arts Boston
An ancient Egyptian coin called a tetradrachm inspired the medallion on the pitcher. View an example in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.