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 C1880 Tiffany & Co Sterling Silver Wave Edge Cut Glass Wine Ewer Claret JugC1850 Tiffany Young & Ellis John C Moore Sterling Silver Repousse Pitcher JugTop Quality 1835 Charles Fox William Iv Sterling Silver Milk Pitcher Wine JugVery Elegant 1932 Elkington & Co Sterling Silver Melon Form Milk Pitcher JugFine Vlarge 1835 Edinburgh Scottish Sterling Silver Repousse Figural Pitcher JugAntique Georgian Sterling Silver Bright Cut Decorated Milk Jug, 144 Grams, 1792English Sterling Silver Bowl Mustard Pot Emes & Barnard 1826Japanese Sterling Cocktail Set Pitcher Beakers Tray Signed Antique Signed Japanese Sterling Silver Sake Wine Ewer Pitcher Decanter JapanSuperb Antique Victorian Sterling Silver Milk Jug & Sugar Bowl, 180 Grams, 1881Antique 1106g Sterling Silver Gilt Tea Pot, Sugar Bowl & Milk Jug Tea Set C 1931Antique Sterling Silver Scrolled Reed Decorated Cream Or Milk Jug Dated 1908Antique 512g Sterling Silver Milk Or Cream Jug & Sugar Bowl By Elkington C. 1912Superb Antique Victorian Sterling Silver Milk Jug,282 Grams,1861,great Handle!Vintage Sterling Silver & Blue Glass Salt Pepper & Mustard Pot Cruet Set C. 1967Mexico Sterling Silver Water Pitcher 29.50 Oz No ReserveAntique Solid Sterling Silver Relief Reed Decorated Cream Or Milk Jug Dated 1905A Fine Solid Sterling Silver Mustard Pot With Blue Glass Liner Birmingham 1922.Stunning Victorian Large Silver Mustard Pot 1891 Hallmarked Sterling London NrCambridge Glass Rare Black Ball Jug With Sterling Silver Overlay DecorationArt Deco Solid Sterling Silver Mustard Pot 1935, Blue Glass LinerAn Antique Sterling Silver Mustard Pot Sheffield 1915 Walker & HallSuperb Antique Victorian Sterling Silver Milk Jug, 195 Grams, 1891,martin & HallBeautiful Antique 19th Century Victorian L1887 Solid Sterling Silver Cream JugAntique Sterling Silver & Blue Glass Lined Mustard Pot From Sheffield Dated 1888Vintage Preisner #125 Solid Sterling Silver Water Pitcher Weighs Over 500 GramsBeautiful Victorian Sterling Silver Bulbous Shape & Elephant Scenery Mustard PotGeorgian Sterling Silver & Blue Glass Crested Mustard Pot From London Dated 1817Mustard Pot Barrel Shape Sterling Silver Chester 1920Very Nice Sterling Silver Mustard Pot Birmingham 1931Vintage George Jensen Sterling Silver Milk Jug/hot Chocolate Pot - No. 80cAntique 114g Sterling Silver Gilt Cream Milk Jug By Rattray & Co Of Dundee 1937Vintage Sterling Silver Cream Pitcher & Sugar Bowl Rogers 201 32 Gold Wash NrAntique Sterling Silver Gilt Sauce, Milk Or Cream Jug From Birmingham Dated 1902Wallace Baroque Sterling Silverplated Footed Water Pitcher Beautiful Ornate #267Nice Antique Solid Sterling Silver Mustard Pot, 1894Sterling Silver Scrap Pitcher And Baby Cup 66.96 Grams Rare Vintage 1898 Sterling Silver Victorian Milk Jug Pot Antique A811906 Pointed End-cone & Flower Arthur Stone Co. Pitcher Lemonade Spoon Sterling Very Nice Sterling Silver Mustard Pot Birmingham 1932Delightful Solid Sterling Silver Cream/milk Jug 1901Vintage F.b. Rogers Sterling Silver Creamer Cream Pitcher Weighted #135F B Rogers Sterling Silver Silverware W/ Tray, Teapot & Milk JugVintage Retro Sterling Silver Etruscan Filigree Greek Roman Jug Charm Opens Sterling Silver Gravy Sauce Boat Jug Barker Bros Birmingham 1928 170 Grams