Tiffany & Co. Antique Sterling Silver Aesthetic Movement Water Pitcher in the Japanese Taste, NYC, c. 1880
This is a stunning example of aesthetic movement silver by Tiffany & Co.
The body shimmers due to the irregular honeycomb hammering to the surface. Applied to this surface are amazing gilt silver lotus flowers whose stems originate from under the top of the handle and travel around the piece to the other side. One side is highly covered with gilt foliage and the other boasts a single bloom.
The underside of the spout has a series of repousséd mounds which subside as they go down the front. This same design is also used on the interior of the handle. The spot-hammered surface sparkles like water and the undulating design under the spout resemble waves.
At the top of the handle, there is a pierced design upon which an applied silver gilt frog is perched.
The Japanese style developed by Edward C. Moore at Tiffany evolved dramatically in a couple of years before the 1878 Paris Exposition. While the earlier pieces are engraved with diverse Japanese elements, later pieces include applied mixed metal elements and comprehensive naturalistic designs that integrate the entire piece on a boldly hammered background.
Tiffany was the first American firm to win the grand prize for silverware and their silver in this style captivated the audience at the 1878 exhibition, highlighting Tiffany's, and America's emergence as a creative artistic power.
This magnificent pitcher measures 6 inches in circumference at the base by 9 inches high. It is marked underneath 'TIFFANY & CO./ 5544 MAKERS 6234/ STERLING SILVER/ 925-1000/ M/ 1228'. According to Tiffany Silver by Charles Carpenter, the pattern number dates this pitcher to circa 1880 (p. 260). The pitcher weighs 34.60 troy ounces and is in very good antique condition with the parcel gilding restored. Underneath, it is monogrammed and dated 'G.M.R.H./Feby 16th 1887'.
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