"Skyscraper" Cocktail Shaker and Lid


William Waldo Dodge, Jr. ( American, 1895 - 1971 )

c. 1928–1931
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General Description

Made in Asheville, North Carolina, by silversmith William Waldo Dodge in the midst of Prohibition, this cocktail shaker is part of a twelve piece set that stands as one of Dodge’s few forays into the modernist idiom, as opposed to the more commercially viable Arts and Crafts or Colonial Revival styles. With its oversized fluted body and cone-shaped cap, the monumental silver cocktail shaker suggests a powerful missile or, as it has been dubbed in recent years, a soaring “skyscraper.” While vaguely mechanistic details suggest it is a product of industry, the subtle modulation of its planished surface declares it a handwrought object.

Adapted from

Samantha Robinson, DMA unpublished material, 2016.

Web Resources

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