each overall: 11 1/8 x 5 1/2 x 4 7/8 in. ( 28.3 x 14 x 12.4 cm )
Pair of wrought silver presentation pitchers; ovoid-shaped bodies with large chased ovoid flutes; each on an oval foot with molded footrings; applied oval necks with short, broad pouring lips, low on the sides; molded bands applied around the rims; cast double-scroll handles applied to the back of each; circular engraving on the front of each of Liberty freeing the Slaves, she holds a liberty pole topped by a liberty cap and is removing shackles from the arms of two slaves, a freed slave reading and Joseph Curtis raising a mirror to reflect the the rays of the sun rising over mountains in the background; engraved below the vignettes, "Act. 31.st March 1817/ Manumission Society of New York/ Joseph Curtis" in roman letters and script; maker's marks stamped on the base.
Gift of Clive Mecklem
engraved: below the vignettes: "Act. 31.st March 1817/ Manumission Society of New York/ Joseph Curtis" in roman letters and script stamped: on the bases: "J. Sayre" in script in conforming rectangles, twice
The Manumission Society presented this pair of pitchers to Joseph Curtis in 1817 in recognition of his successful efforts to have the New York State Legislature pass the Manumission Act, freeing slaves in New York beginning July 4, 1827. The pitchers depict Liberty removing the chains of bondage from slaves, with a freed slave reading a book behind. Curtis himself is depicted behind Liberty, using a hand mirror to reflect the rays of the sun onto the freed men.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.