A SMALL COLLECTION OF ANTIQUE SILVER
AND OBJECTS OF VERTU
THE WHAT IS? SILVER DICTIONARY

EWER

Ewer is a type of large jug that has a tall, deep bowl on a stemmed base and has a single vertical scroll handle. The handle can be figural or harp-shaped extending above the rim of the mouth.
The bowl is sometimes of ovoid shape with a narrow tall neck, but is usually cylindrical, baluster-shaped or helmet shaped.
Until the introduction of the fork ewers and basins were an essential part of the dining and the washing ceremony a recognized part of the dining table etiquette. A servant hold a silver basin in front of each guest, another poured the water from the ewer over the hands of the guest into the basin.
A towel with which the diner dried his hands concluded the ceremony.
About the mid of the 18th century ewers and basins were discarded for this use and destinated to ornamental function.
Nevertheless they do not disappear and a smaller ewer and a smaller and deeper elongated basin became the subject of a new ceremonial rite, the feminine toilette.
As part of a ceremony, the silver pieces were ostentatious and the profusion, refinement and luxury of the objects on the dressing table evoked until the mid-19th century the dressers of the Middle Ages. Also this use progressively ceased at the appearance of running water at home.
Victorian versions intended for serving wine were designed on an amphora style with narrow necks, small mouths and with a single side handle. Many had hinged lids and were decorated with hand-chased / engraved scenes or floral work, often with vine-leaf and grape decoration. Some ewers made of a glass or crystal bottle (claret jug) were enriched on the neck by a mount of silver forming the handle and pedestal foot.


silver ewer and basin silver ewer and basin

silver helmet ewer silver helmet ewer silver helmet ewer
silver ewer and basin silver ewer and basin silver ewer and basin




silver wine ewer silver wine ewer silver wine ewer silver wine ewer



ewer with silver mounts ewer with silver mounts ewer with silver mounts ewer with silver mounts


still life with ewer and basin by Gerard Dou still life with ewer and basin by Willem Kalf

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