Hot water jugMaker:
Daniel Holy, Wilkinson & Company
, founded 1783
Material and Medium: Sterling silver wood
Dimensions: Overall: 325 x 165 x 94mm (12 13/16 x 6 1/2 x 3 11/16in.)
Department: Decorative Art
Accession Number: L1924.72
This Sterling silver hot water jug has a wooden handle and hinged lid. It is decorated in a neoclassical style, adorned with swagging and acanthus leaves and with an acorn shaped finial.
Neoclassicism took its inspiration from the rise in antiquarianism and archaeology. There was a renewed interest in the ancient Greeks and Romans and this was reflected in the art, design and architecture of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century.
The jug would have been used for adding hot water to tea.
Tea was introduced to England from China in the mid seventeenth century and was initially drunk in the coffee houses frequented by the elite intellectual classes. By the 1700's century tea had become part of household ritual, the ladies retiring to the drawing room to take tea following dinner.
As tea continued to be imported from China and was heavily taxed it was an expensive commodity throughout the eighteenth century. Because of this hot water would be added to produce a second pot making the leaves go further. Tea was taken weak without sugar or milk at this time in the Chinese fashion.
The jug bears the Assay mark of the crown which was the mark used by the Sheffield Assay Office. In 1773 an Act of Parliament was passed establishing the Sheffield Assay Office following petitioning from Sheffield silversmiths. Before this silversmiths had to send pieces to London to be hallmarked.