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American Decorative Arts
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Maker Chaser: Christopher W. Clissold, American, born England, 1863–1938
Manufacturer: Gorham Manufacturing Company, American, founded 1831

Pitcher, Martele line


.9584 fine silver

9 1/4 in. (23.5 cm)
other: 5 7/16 in. (13.8 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Schwartz
In reaction to ever-increasing mechanization, the Arts and Crafts movement of the late nineteenth century fostered a sense of nostalgia for the skilled craftsman who created objects completely by hand. In an attempt to hearken back to that lost tradition, the Gorham Manufacturing Company introduced its Martele line, which premiered at the 1900 Paris International Exposition. Martele pieces (French for hand-hammered) combined the free-flowing, naturalistic style of Art Nouveau, seen in this pitcher’s lily pad design, with elements that revealed the presence of the craftsman, such as visible hammer marks. Although Gorham’s silversmiths had a great deal of control over the design and decoration of Martele pieces, the line was nonetheless created in a modernized factory setting.
Manufactured in Providence, Rhode Island
On view
20th century
Containers - Metals

“Acquisitions 1978,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin 37, no. 2 (Summer 1979): 62.

Barbara M. Ward and Gerald W. R. Ward, eds., Silver in American Life: Selections from the Mabel Brady Garvan and Other Collections at Yale University, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1979), 20, 45, 84, no. 53, ill.

Handbook of the Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 112, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.