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    

Fine English Antique 18th Century Georgian C1760 Solid Sterling Silver Cream JugAntique Sterling Silver Helmet Shape Milk Or Cream Jug From London Dated 1792Antique Gorham Puritan Solid Sterling Silver 4 1/4 Pint Pitcher 641 Grams 1.5lb+Whiting Sterling Pitcher Japanese C1890 30ozOutstanding Vintage Solid Silver Large Hot Water Jug Hallmarked 1933 Sterling NrStunning Large Heavy Antique Georgian L1805 Solid Sterling Silver Cream JugBeautiful Heavy Antique Georgian 1809 Solid Sterling Silver Cream Jug Queen Anne Beautiful Antique 19th C Repousse Decorated Sterling Silver Pitcher 13 T Oz NrAntique Signed Japanese Sterling Silver Sake Wine Ewer Pitcher Decanter JapanAntique Chester 190solid Sterling Silver Small Sugar Bowl & Cream JugEnglish Sterling Pitcher Cream Jug London C1810Fine Victorian Sterling Silver Wine Jug Chased Leaves Flowers Martin Hall 1884Well-made Solid Sterling Silver Cream Jug, 11.5 Cm High/ 155 G VgcSterling Silver Hallmarked Hot Water Jug Celtic Knot Hamilton & Inches .Superb Quality Sterling Silver Milk Jug Creamer Hand Hammered S&i Chester 1932Wallace "modernique" Sterling Silver Cream PitcherMagnificent Italian Sterling Silver Jug Ewer On Stand Huge 3152 Grams Ca 187018th Sterling Silver English Mustard Pot George Iii Peter & Anne BatemanEdwardian Elkington & Co Solid Sterling Silver Cream Jug & Sugar Bowl 510gArt Deco Sterling Silver Sauce / Cream Jug - Harris Hallmark 1925 - 132 GramsAntique Sterling Silver & Blue Glass Lined Mustard Pot From Birmingham Date 1935 Antique 19th C Repousse Decorated Sterling Silver Pitcher 5.66 T Oz NrBeautiful Sterling Silver Pitcher. 837 Grams / 29.52 OunceVery Elegant 1795 Georgian London Helmet-shaped Sterling Silver Milk JugAntique Victorian Hallmarked Solid Sterling Silver Small JugHandsome Genuine English Antique Georgian L1809 Solid Sterling Silver Cream JugRare Antique Solid Silver Milk Cream Jug 1915 Hallmarked Sterling Birmingham NrCollection Of Ornamental Sterling Silver Items Jug Tobacco Jar Vase BroochStylish Antique Sterling Silver Hallmarked Jug 96.4 Grams Birm 1915 Hwld 14.5cmArt Deco Sterling Silver Mustard Pot 1938 Birmingham 57.2g Rd. No. 610131Vintage Sterling Silver Round Mustard Pot Elkington 1945 Birmingham 31.8gOutstanding Reed & Barton Hampton Court Shield 663 Sterling Silver Water PitcherVintage Sterling Silver Wine Carafe Pitcher Decanter 3d Bracelet Charm PendantFine Heavy Mexican Sterling Silver Modernist Water Pitcher 500+ GramsAntique Victorian English Sterling Silver & Cobalt Glass Mustard Pot Salt CellarAntique Victorian Hallmarked Solid Sterling Silver Cream JugAntique Solid .925 Silver Victorian Cream Jug Scrap Or Collect 69gramsVintage Frank Whiting Sterling Silver And Glass Syrup Pitcher Vintage Sterling Silver Opening Tankard Jug Charm A Vintage Sterling Silver Mustard Pot Birmingham 1975 Sanders & Mackenzie1778 Molly Pitcher Issue In 1978 In 24 Kt Gold On Solid Sterling Silver Plate2014 Bowman Sterling A J Cole Auto Prospect Bspa-ac Washington Nationals PitcherWallace Meadow Rose Sterling Silver Pitcher1778 Molly Pitcher At Battle Of Monmouth Danbury Mint Sterling Silver MedalVintage Sterling Silver Water Jug CharmSterling Silver Deposit Overlay Tea Creamer Pitcher