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    

Stunning Solid Sterling Silver Claret Wine Jug Birmingham 1897 Elkington & Co Tiffany Sterling Silver Pitcher C1902 Art Nouveau ExcEnglish Sterling Pitcher Cellini Ewer Sea Serpent Crest 1889English Sterling Pitcher Beer Jug Queen Anne C1705 BritanniaCast Sterling Silver Bulldog Mustard PotAntique Sterling Silver Coffee Pot, Sugar Bowl & Cream Jug Café Au Lait Set 1910Vintage Japanese Pure Sterling Silver Sake Pitcher W/ 6 Cups, 305gUnusual Antique Solid Sterling Silver Cream/ Sauce Jug On Stand 1903/ 112 GSuperb Antique Victorian Sterling Silver Milk Jug, 1898, 159 GramsAntique Sterling Silver Hand Decorated Cream Or Milk Jug From London Dated 1887Vintage Preisner Solid Sterling Silver Water Pitcher 622 GramsSuperb Rare Antique Georgian L1811 P & W Bateman Solid Sterling Silver Cream JugDollhouse Miniature Artisan Acquisto Sterling Silver Cow Creamer PitcherAntique Georgian Sterling Silver Jug, 1830, 150 Grams, Lias BrothersMappin & Webb Heavy Antique Sterling Silver Mustard Pot 1919Antique Sterling Silver & Blue Glass Pierce Decorated Mustard Pot Dated 1902Smart Asprey Solid Sterling Silver Mustard Pot, 1920 Blue Glass LinerVintage~ Navajo~sterling~miniature~ornate~stamped~design~pitcher~shaped~charm~nrAntique Sterling Silver Helmet Shape Milk Or Cream Jug From London Dated 1785Antique C. 1920 Art Deco Sterling Silver Repousse Cartier Pot Water Pitcher!Heavy Antique Sterling Silver Mustard Pot - Hallmark 1840 - 176 GramsNice Square Solid Sterling Silver Mustard Pot 1968 Elkington, Blue Glass LinerArt Deco Solid Sterling Silver Cream Jug, Sugar Bowl & Service Tray,616g, C1940Antique Sterling Silver Gilt Relief Decorated Cream Or Milk Jug Dated 1910Antique Solid Sterling Silver Helmet Shape Sauce, Cream Or Milk Jug Dated 1935Antique Sterling Silver Sugar Bowl & Cream Jug Dessert Strawberry Set Dated 1895Superb Large American Art Deco Sterling Silver Pitcher Jug Tiffany & Co Ca 1930Cream Jug Pear Shaped Sterling Silver Birmingham 1891 English Sterling Cruet Set Mustard Pot Pepper Spoon Dragon 1892Vintage 1920 Sterling Silver 4 Pint PitcherAntique Sterling Silver Relief Decorated Sauce / Milk Jug From London Dated 1829Antique Sterling Silver Mustard Pot - Mappin & Webb 1893 - 122 GramsSterling Silver Hand Made Water Pitcher Dollhouse Miniature By William B. Meyer "lalaounis" Sterling Handhammered Small Greek Pitcher, Long Spout Classical FormSterling Silver Gravy Boat / Sauce Jug - Hallmarked A Bros Ltd Birmingham 1930Castelan Mexico Sterling Silver .925 Hat Jug Sombrero Medal Heavy Bracelet 7.50Smart Victorian Sterling Silver Fluted Cream Jug 1890, Army & NavySterling Silver - 3d Water Pitcher 1g - Charm Pendant Xk9161Sterling Silver Cream And Pitcher SetExcellent Antique Sterling Silver Oval Reeded Mustard Pot 1918Sterling Silver - Danecraft 3d Pitcher 9.2g - Charm PendantVintage Sterling Silver & Italian Murano Glass Teapot Jug Bracelet Charm FobCharm Pendant Sterling Silver Art Noveau Lady Pouring Jug Water