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    

Rare C1900 Chinese Sing Fat Sterling Silver Tea Set Teapot Jug Sugar Bowl & CaseAntique Victorian Gorham Sterling Silver & Cut Glass Crystal Lemonade PitcherSuperb Marked Spanish Solid Silver Armada Jug Jar Ewer Sculptural RepousseRare Victorian Novelty Silver Plated Owl Mustard Pot C1880. Fine Condition. Antique 20thc Indian Solid Silver Repousse Ewer Jug, Calcutta C.1920Antique 20thc Edwardian Solid Silver & Glass Novelty Duck Claret Jug C.1903Antique 20thc Austrian Solid Silver Mounted Glass Claret Jug C.1910Gorham Silver Pitcher Teapot Greek Medallion C1865 Antique Quality Solid Sterling Silver Cream Jug, R.pringle, 210g, London 1910Antique 20thc German Solid Silver Mounted Glass Decorative Claret Jug C1890Antique 1844 - 1866 Coin Silver Pitcher Lamb Finial Mitchell & TylerAntique Bright-cut Engraved Silver Plated Claret Jug 1893 Walker & HallVintage Good Heavy Solid Sterling Silver Cream Jug, H.d, 244g, Birmingham 1929Victorian Art Glass Vasa Murrhina Pitcher Cased Pink W/ Silver FlecksSuperb ~ Wiskemann ~ Silver Plate & Glass ~ Whisky / Claret Noggin Jug ~ C1920925 Sterling Silver Water Pitcher Pendant Cable Chain Necklace 21.8gAntique Solid Silver Water Jug, 1916 - Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Co. 19ozsAntique Georgian Sterling Silver 5" Jug, 125gramsSweet Antique 925 Silver Cream Jug Miniature Piece - 582 G24Antique Chester 1905 Solid Sterling Silver Mustard Pot/ L 7 Cm Glass LinerChristopher Dresser Water Jug 16594 Elkingtons Electro Plate Silver InscribedAntique Heavy Solid Silver Matching Cream Jug+sugar Bowl By Lowe Of Chester~1917Large Antique Crested Solid Sterling Silver Mustard Pot 1906 S.garrard/ H 8 CmAntique Claret Jug Cut Glass With Silver PlateUnger Brothers Art Nouveau Sterling Silver Creamer C1900 Repousse Coffee Tea JugNew York Central Lines, Reed & Barton 3-piece Silver Pitcher & Sugar Bowl SetGorham Sterling Pitcher Hand Hammered Grape/leaf 41oz S Kirk & Son Sterling Silver Water Pitcher 64 Oz. #210a 8.25" Tall 682 GramsVtg Solid Silver 1933 Mustard Pot Pierced Wm Suckling Hallmarked Sterling Antique Solid Silver 925 Birmingham Pepper, Salt & Mustard Pot W/ Glass (103)Victorian Solid Silver Half Reeded Milk/cream Jug - Chester1908 G N R HSmart Art Deco Solid Sterling Silver Cream Jug 1933/ 12.9 Cm/ 100 GGorgeous Silver-plate Claret Jug With Masked SpoutDainty Antique Solid Sterling Silver Mustard Pot 1906/ H 3.5 Cm Blue LinerA Vintage Sterling Silver Cream Jug Birmingham 1936 William Neale & Son 95 GramsAntique Signed Japanese Sterling Silver Sake Wine Ewer Pitcher Decanter JapanVintage Solid Silver 800/000 Decanter Jug Miniature - No Job Lot No Scrap No 9252 Vintage Antique Silver Plate Coin Water Jug Pitcher G Royce New York 1844 Geo Iii Solid Silver Milk / Cream Jug, George Smith & Thomas Hayter, London 1797Beautiful Solid Silver & Cut Glass Large Claret Jug P.h.vogel & Co 1989 1534grAntique Solid Sterling Silver Mustard Pot 1901/ L 7.2 Cm Blue Glass LinerPretty Antique Chester 1902 Solid Silver Mustard Pot/ L 9.5 Cm Blue Glass LinerVintage Spanish Sterling Silver 925 Pitchers & Jugs. Wine Or Water Jug.Gorgeous Little Silver Cream Jug ( Saunders & Shepherd Birmingham 1900Vintage Pressed Glass Claret Jug With Silver Plated Mounts ItalySolid Sterling .925 Silver Jug SetA Fine Sterling Silver Pierced Mustard Pot Glass Liner & Spoon Birmingham 1919.Walker & Hall Hallmarked Silver & Cobalt Blue Mustard Pot & Cobalt Blue LinersGood Antique Georgian Sterling Silver Water Jug, 473 Grams, 1810, GarrardSilver Mustard Pot & Spoon Hallmarked London 1896 William Gibson & John LanghamAntique Meiji Japanese Wakayama Pottery Vase Ewer Silver Overlay Dragon Izumo Antique Hallmarked Gorham Sterling Silver Syrup Pitcher W/ Lid & Tray Vintage Solid Silver Mustard Pot With Spoon And Bakelite Liner Birmingham 1934Stirling Silver Mustard PotSolid Silver Edwardian English Hallmarked Cream Jug - B'ham Seein*** Lovely Hm Sterling Silver Georgian Style Cream/sauce Jug C1923 - A.bros ***Antique Acid Tested Sterling Silver Blue Glass Lined Mustard Pot Missing SpoonAntique Sterling Overlay Filigree Ewer/bottle As IsRare Vintage/antique Cloisonne & Silver Mustard Pot & Spoon - Beautiful ItemAntique International Silver Co Egyptian Revival Scarab Cocktail Pitcher