This spectacular ewer was made by one of the greatest silversmithing firms in America. Classical design and ornamentation create this visually stunning object. A cast and applied handle with scroll ends is covered with foliate devices and a bold leaf thumb piece. The underside of the rim is enforced and decorated with a die-rolled band of small, repeating leaves. Applied to the upper shoulder of the main body is a wonderful band of fine beading with hanging shells and foliage.
Stunning and fine repoussé create the dramatic leaves rising from the base of the main body. Beautifully chased for detail, the leaves are depicted in an overlapping design with the larger leaves turned over at their tips.
The base as a lovely stepped circular pedestal on a square platform. The platform is also classically ornamented with lovely banding, acanthus leaf corners and stunning animal paw feet.
The underside of the base is inscribed with an original initial 'B' . It also bears a later inscription:
JOHN COULTER WYCKOFF II
FROM THE FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF MEMPHIS, TENN.
FOR TWENTY YEARS SERVICE, 1936-1956
There has been a monogram or inscription removed from the front of the ewer (very well done), most likely when the later presentation was added.
A nearly identical ewer can be found in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (see here
) and illustrated in Silversmiths to the Nation Thomas Fletcher & Sidney Gardiner: 1808-1842
(p. 232-3) by Donald Fennimore and Ann Wagner where the original shop drawing is also shown on p. 97.
This rare ewer is marked underneath 'T FLETCHER/ PHILAD. It measures 14.5 inches high to the top of the handle by 9.75 inches across the handle and spout, weighs 60.35 troy ounces and is in excellent condition aside from the removal.