When is a pitcher not a pitcher? When it’s a jug, flagon, ewer, creamer or any of the other words commonly used to describe a vessel with a handle and a spout. In general, pitchers are open at the top and too wide to be stoppered with a cork. That said, the words pitcher and jug are often used interchangeably, with pitcher being more common in the United States and jug favored in the U.K.

Sterling silver pitchers in Colonial America, such as the creamers made by Paul Revere as a part of silver tea sets, often had fluted sides and took on neoclassical forms. Revere pitchers were also produced in the Federal style, giving the silversmith lots of flat surface area for engraving everything from a simple monogram to a lengthy testimonial on the outside of a presentation jug.

In the 1800s, the jeweler Tiffany & Company produced wide-mouthed pitchers whose shapes and engraved floral designs took their inspiration from Persian decorative arts. Other Victorian Era silver pitchers had pear-shaped bottoms and flared spouts, with delicate, repousséd floral designs climbing up their sides. Many pitchers of this period also had lids, topped by finials in the shapes of acorns and swans.

Some of the most popular techniques used on pitchers included applied decorations, in which, for example, a collar would be affixed to the outsides of a pitcher’s mouth, interrupted at the handle and spout. And the interiors of silver pitchers were often gilded to protect the metal from the corrosive liquids such as wine.

A hybrid of silver artistry and art glass can be found in the claret pitchers produced from the early 1800s to the 1930s, in styles that ranged from Victorian to Art Nouveau to Arts and Crafts. In claret jugs, the glass vessel held the wine while the silver was used for the pitcher’s handle, spout, and base. In most cases, the handle was attached to the spout and the base, making it easy to pour wine from the jug, but there were also jugs in the shapes of animals, from crocodiles to monkeys, whose silver elements were not linked to each other.

Creamers, which are also called milk jugs, remain one of the most diminutive types of pitchers. Some came in the shapes of cows, with an opening in the mouth so the milk or cream could be poured into a cup of tea. Others resembled upside-down helmets, while character jugs, which were all the rage in the 19th century when made out of porcelain, were also popular when formed from silver.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Chicago Silver

Chicago Silver

Paul Somerson's incredible reference on handwrought metalwork from the American Arts and Crafts movement of the ear… [read review or visit site]

Silver Marks Encyclopedia

Silver Marks Encyclopedia

An extensive reference guide to silver marks, hallmarks, trademarks and maker's marks found on antique and vintage … [read review or visit site]

Silver at the Victoria and Albert

Silver at the Victoria and Albert

This is a great reference site on silver, courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum. You can view silver items acc… [read review or visit site]

The Gilbert Collection

The Gilbert Collection

The late Sir Arthur Gilbert's collection of European silver, gold, enamel, and other items is now housed at the Vic… [read review or visit site]

Delight in Design: Indian Silver for the Raj

Delight in Design: Indian Silver for the Raj

“Delight in Design: Indian Silver for the Raj” was the title of a 2008 exhibition at Columbia University’s Mi… [read review or visit site]

TheStieffCompany.com

TheStieffCompany.com

Scott Perkins is an enthusiastic evangelist for The Stieff Company, a significant Baltimore silversmith and maker o… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Museum Quality 1838 Victorian Sterling Silver Wine Ewer Claret Pitcher JugGorgeous 1906 Edwardian Sterling Silver & Cut Glass Wine Ewer Claret Pitcher JugKirk Sterling Silver Pitcher Hand Decorated C1905 35ozArt Deco Solid Sterling Silver Hexagonal Shaped Walker & Hall Mustard Pot 1933.Gorham Sterling Silver 3-1/2 Pint Water Pitcher A2126 - 17.2 Oz.Antique Signed Japanese Sterling Silver Sake Wine Ewer Pitcher Decanter JapanWhiting Sterling Silver 925 Etched Glass Sugar Shaker Muffineer & Syrup PitcherGeorgian Antique Sterling Silver Cream Jug London 1803 105 GramsSterling Silver Spratling Water Pitcher With Wooden Handle Total 765 GramsGeorgian Solid Silver Milk Cream Jug 1817 Hallmarked Sterling Superb Design NrVintage Tiffany Sterling Silver Cut Crystal Martini Pitcher With Silver Stirrer1730 George Ii Georgian Sterling Silver Double Lipped Sauce Boat Gravy PitcherAn Antique Sterling Silver Milk Jug Sheffield 1915 James Dixon & Sons 123 GramsOrnate Pierced Solid Silver Sterling Mustard Pot Blue Glass Liner 1901Antique Gorham Sterling Silver 4 1/2 Pint Water Pitcher 024.Antique Huge Solid Sterling Silver Artisan Signed Water Pitcher - 962.0 Grams!A Superb Quality Indian Colonial Sterling Silver Heart Shaped Cream Jug 86 GramsLarge Antique Gorham Sterling Silver 4 1/4 Pint Water Pitcher 620 Grams ScrapAntique Sterling Silver Green Threaded Glass Decanter Claret Jug – London 1894American Brilliant Cut Glass Pitcher With Sterling Silver TopRare Vintage 1898 Sterling Silver Victorian Milk Jug Pot Antique A94Superb French Sterling Silver Mustard Pot Lady Finial Emile Taburet Paris C1870Sterling Silver Mustard Pot Birm' 1913 W Blue Glass Liner & Spoon William NealeDainty Antique Solid Sterling Silver Hot Milk Jug, 1911/ 14.5 Cm, 193 G VgcAntique Stunning Solid Silver Mustard Pot 1912 Hallmarked Sterling Sheffield Nr Webster Silver Co Sterling Silver Cobalt Blue Glass Mustard Pot With SpoonVtg Floral Etched Sterling Silver Overlay 925 Ice Tea Beverage Juice Pitcher JugAntique Brilliant Period Cut Glass Syrup Pitcher W/ Sterling Silver TopAntique Edwardian 925 Hm Sterling Silver Mustard Pot London 1905 Bird DecorationVintage Sterling Silver Water Pitcher ~ Excellent Condition ~ Lancaster SterlingMilk Jug Sterling Silver Chester 1904 Antique Hawkes Sterling Silver Floral Etched Frosted Glass Syrup Pitcher,4 1/2"Antique Solid Sterling Silver Large Cream Jug - Asprey London George Unite 1914Antique Sterling Silver Mustard Pot Original Blue Liner Birmingham 1908Good Antique .925 Hm Sterling Silver Sauce Jug Gravy Boat London 1918Good Guild Of Handicrafts Sterling Silver Milk Jug, 175 Grams, 1975 2014 Bowman Sterling Auto Lucas Giolito Nationals Pitcher Very Nice!Antique English Sterling Silver Salt Cellar- Mustard Pot (c) 1923, Cobalt Liner