Covered Tureen and Tray

Joseph Lownes (1754–1820)

Philadelphia, ca. 1810


Gift of Sewell C. Biggs; 1993.35.1–.3

Due to their value and portability, silver objects were often the first decorative arts in America to reflect the latest European fashions. Not only does this tureen foreshadow the Empire style in America, it also demonstrates new technologies for working with metal. Traditionally, silversmiths formed silver objects from a nugget, laboriously hammering the metal into the desired shape. Many silversmiths of this period began investing in quantities of industrially produced rolled silver sheets to hasten the speed of production.