Saturday, April 8, 2017

Andrew Carnegie Ice Water Pitcher

This most amazing 100 troy ounce ice water pitcher just recently came onto the market after being in  a collection for a few decades. We just acquired it.  It was presented to Andrew Carnegie in 1865 by the workers of the Pittsburgh Division of the Pennsylvania Railroad where he worked as a clerk before he made his fortune. Andrew Carnegie was a Scot and became one of the most significant figures of the gilded age in the United States.

From a silver collector's point of view I find it interesting that the order for this presentation was given to Philadelphia silversmith Peter Krider, who manufactured fine quality silver hollow ware early on together with George Sharp. Nice to know they kept the business in their State of Pennsylvania.

Since Mr Carnegie was not a large individual one can try to imagine him lifting the piece while it was filled with ice water. Every last detail in the manufacture was carefully implemented from the hollow cavity beneath the jug for insulating the cold to a hinged hanging flap to seal the spout from the interior.

The incorporation of cast and applied thistles needs no explanation since he was a Scot and I think that the figure applied to the side is that of Liberty.

The pitcher has been very well looked after and has a wonderful color and patina. The engraving is also quite crisp and clean.

Here is a photograph of the pitcher made for Andrew Carnegie in 1865
Peter Krider Antique Sterling Silver Ice Water Pitcher Circa 1865

For information please go to