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Hood Museum of Art
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755

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Tucker Factories, pair of pitchers

Tucker Factories, William Ellis Tucker (1800-1832), Tucker and Hulme, Tucker and Hemphill, or Joseph Hemphill (active 1827-38), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Pair of pitchers
Porcelain with polychrome enamel and gilding
Purchased through the Katharine T. and Merrill G. Beede 1929 Fund; 2009.8.1-2

In order to complement the Hood’s extensive collection of American silver, the museum is making a concerted effort to build comparable collections of American glass and ceramics. The acquisition of this pair of pitchers represents a significant advance toward this goal. The Philadelphia factories associated with William Ellis Tucker were the first moderately successful manufacturers of porcelain in the United States. Pitchers are among the earliest and most popular forms associated with Tucker. A published advertisement from 1827 mentions “a Few pair of American China Pitchers . . . being a part of his first kiln.” Other references, and a large number of surviving pairs, suggest that the factories frequently produced pitchers in twos. The quality and complexity of the painted and gilded decoration of Tucker wares varied considerably, depending on the intended market. Skillfully painted, naturalistic floral bouquets adorn this pair, along with an elaborate scheme of gilded laurel wreaths and borders of stars, leaves, and musical trophies that reflects the neoclassical taste of the period.

Last Updated: 4/15/10