Obadiah Rich (attr.) Coin Silver Lidded Jug retailed by Jones, Lows & Ball, Boston, 1839
A wonderful example of Boston coin silver, this rare covered pitcher or jug features a hinged, dome cover ornamented with an acanthus leaf design from which a bud finial emerges. The bold handle with shaped thumb-piece is hand-chased with scrolling leaf and floral decoration. Against a stippled background, another leaf ornament is under the handle where it attaches to the neck.
Under the spout is a beautifully executed mask of a horned satyr with a wonderful mane, mischievous facial expression, and teeth. Below this sculptural element is the cartouche flanked with rococo scrolls, leaves and flowers. An applied, stepped ring base completes the classical form of this pitcher.
This lovely pitcher is engraved underneath:
Catherine Lawrence -from- N.W. Appleton Oct, 1st 1839
Charles Tilden Appleton, son of Nathaniel Walker Appleton (II) and Sarah Tilden, married Catherine Lawrence on Oct 1st, 1839. Not a bad wedding gift! Charles Appleton "was agent and treasurer... from 1833-1846" of the Lowell Bleachery, (1) a producer of cotton noted, "for purity and whiteness." (2) His grandfather, Nathanial W. Appleton (I), was the famous 18th-century physician and professor at Harvard.
In 1839, Obadiah Rich was the preeminent silversmith in Boston and the principal holloware maker for Jones, Lows & Ball, the premier jewelers in Boston, who would ultimately become the venerated firm of Shreve, Crump & Low. This sophisticated piece shows Rich's highly developed sense of design. It is entirely hand-raised, typical of the high-end production from Rich's shop.
This stunning pitcher is stamped underneath "Jones, Lows & Ball/ Pure Silver Coin." It measures 9 inches across the handle and spout by 9.75 inches high, weighs 34.45 troy ounces and is in very good antique condition with a well-done erasure in the cartouche.
National Association of Wool Manufacturers, Awards and Claims of Exhibitors at the International Exhibition, 1876, (Cambridge: John Wilson & Sons, 1877), p.105.
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