Hand Chased Silver Plated Water Pitcher with Sea Dragon, made by Derby Silver Company of Derby, Connecticut, c. 1880s.
This extremely rare design very strongly reflects Japanese style, with the depiction of dragons and sea monster as well as well as the rolling waves and tentacle-like crests at the tips of the waves. The handle mimics the water theme, and is almost like a breaking wave, with shape of the handle separating into two splayed tentacle-like arms at the base of the pitcher. It has a discreetly placed period style 'S' Monogram above and between the dragon's head and first hump. This rare design also required very challenging design execution. Although the molds were used for the basic production of the Britannia metal base, the craftsmen did extensive chasing to ensure that the design was as intended before the silverplating took place.
The marks are stamped on the base with the Derby Silver Co., Derby Conn. circular stamp with an Anchor and Crown in the center. The pattern number is 2046. The pitcher was produced in the 1880s. The pitcher stands 8 inches tall and 7 1/2 inches from back of handle to front of pouring lip. The condition of the silverplating is good, but not perfect. The exterior has some minor losses, especially on the lower portion of the handle. There are some minor scratches on the inside of the rim, and the interior has some losses of plate.