Augustus Rogers workshop ( American, 1840 - 1852 )

c. 1850
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General Description

Chinoiserie, a style inspired by the arts of China and neighboring Asian countries, first appeared in American silver in the colonial period, but did not reach its height until the mid-19th century, when wealthy Americans imported Asian porcelain, lacquerware, silk, and prints with increasing frequency. This kettle-on-stand, produced in the workshop of Boston silversmith Augustus Rogers, combines Chinoiserie motifs with Rococo Revival elements. The body of the kettle features an exotic landscape populated by stereotyped Chinese figures engaged in a variety of pursuits. Two figures wearing traditional garb and conical hats gesture toward a cartouche with a representation of a mansion believed to be that of the original owner, not yet identified. A figure sitting on a tea chest while smoking a pipe forms the finial and further contributes to the 19th-century vision of the Far East.

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), 327.

  • DMA unpublished material.

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