Ott and Brewer
Nationality & Life Dates:
Trenton, NJ, 1871–1893
Porcelain with polychrome and gilt decoration
13 1/4 x 9 x 6 5/8 inches
Virginia Carroll Crawford Collection
On View - Stent Family Wing,Third Level, Gallery 303
This ewer’s diagonal composition of overglaze enamel decoration with silver and gilt details was inspired by the late-nineteenth-century taste for Japanese designs and motifs. Although no prototype in Japanese porcelain has been identified, the ewer seems to be based on European interpretations of Japanese form and decoration. The blue and purple colors and the gilding would have required more than one firing, and the birds and plants are gilt. With its delicate, gilt twig-shaped handle, this ewer was undoubtedly ornamental rather than functional. It is made of Belleek porcelain, an exceedingly thin, ivory-colored ceramic covered with an iridescent glaze that was originally produced in Ireland. Ott and Brewer became the first American enterprise to manufacture Belleek-type wares after the arrival of Irish immigrant William Bromley, Jr., to the factory in 1882.