Amable Brasier Pair of Antique Coin Silver Ewers, Philadelphia, c. 1823
These exceedingly rare, large pitchers are important and stately examples of Philadelphia classical silver. The large urn-shaped bodies, stepped pedestal bases and upper rims are all ornamented with applied die-rolled bands of fine beading and anthemia. The striking handles are formed with leaves at their bases and leaves and scrolls resembling eagle heads at their tops. The incorporation of these classical elements creates a bold look for these magnificent ewers.
An inscription on the front of each reads:
St. Andrews Church Philadelphia 1823
Provenance: St Andrew's Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Philadelphia Divinity School, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Massachusetts
The Episcopal Divinity School was formerly the Episcopal Theological School founded in 1867 in Cambridge; it changed its name in 1974 when it combined with the Philadelphia Divinity School which was founded in 1857. In 2018, the school merged with the Union Theological Seminary in New York City and the campus was acquired by Leslie University. For more history of the school, see here.
The original St. Andrews Protestant Episcopal Church, now St. George's Greek Orthodox Cathedral, was opened in 1823. It is an extraordinary example of Philadelphia classical architecture built in the exterior style a Greek temple, modeled after the Temple of Bacchus at Teos. (1) Architect John Haviland is considered the most important architect working in Philadelphia during the 1820s (see here) and was buried at St. Andrews.
LIbrary of Congress image of St. Andrew's Church after its conversion to the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St. George.
These rare ewers are marked around the feet 'A. BRASIER' along with pairs of eagle heads. They measure 13 inches tall to the tops of the handles and weigh a combined 78.05 troy ounces. They are in good antique condition with professional restoration to the neck of one foot.
Historic American Building Survey, St. Andrew's Protestant Episcopal Church (HABS No. PA-1362), (Washington: National Park Service, Department of the Interior, 1984), Architectural Data Form, np.