Collections › MESDA Collection › Cream Pitcher

Cream Pitcher

Artist/Maker:
Lewyn, Gabriel
Place Made:
Baltimore Maryland United States of America
Date Made:
1770-1780
Medium:
silver
Dimensions:
HOA: 4-5/8″; WOA: 4-1/2″
Accession Number:
2946
Description:
DESCRIPTION: Silver cream pitcher with an inverted-pear, double-bellied body. The neck extends to a scalloped rim and wide pouring lip. Cast c-shaped handle with sprig and reverse c-scroll upper and lower handle attachments. Round pedestal flairs to a molded base featuring applied gadrooning.

INSCRIPTION: Engraved with the intitials “RL”.

MARK: Struck twice on bottom of base with intaglio “GL” mark in a rectangle reserve.

MAKER: Gabriel Lewyn worked as a silversmith in Annapolis, Maryland in the 1760s and then in Baltimore from 1770 until about 1780. No information is known about his training, but the exceptional sophistication of his surviving work suggests that he learned his trade elsewhere before moving to Maryland. Significant examples of silver by Lewyn are held in the collections of the Yale University Art Gallery and St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Baltimore County. Lewyn also engraved ornamental copperplates for North Carolina currency in 1776, signing them with his initials “GL”. See Jacob Hall Pleasants and Howard Sill, “Maryland Silversmiths, 1715-1830” (Baltimore, MD: Lord Baltimore Press, 1930) and Jennifer Faulds Goldsborough, “Silver in Maryland” (Baltimore, MD: Maryland Historical Society, 1983).

FORM: For most of the eighteenth century the accouterments for tea and coffee were acquired separately and did not necessarily match in style and shape. By the 1790s, all elements of a tea service (coffeepot, teapot, sugar bowl, waste bowl, and cream pitcher) were made somewhat uniformly in style, with the smaller pieces following the form of the coffee and teapots.

Credit Line:
MESDA Purchase Fund