Collections: Decorative Arts: Jug

  • 1st Floor
    Arts of Africa, Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden
  • 2nd Floor
    Arts of Asia and the Islamic World
  • 3rd Floor
    Egyptian Art, European Paintings
  • 4th Floor
    Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
  • 5th Floor
    Luce Center for American Art

On View: Standing Male Figure

These five artworks from throughout the African continent display the range of approaches artists have taken to figur...

Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Hiroshige's 118 woodblock landscape and genre scenes of mid-nineteenth-century Tokyo, is one of the greatest achievements of Japanese art.

    On View: Divination Object (Gbaule)

    This object creates a frightening and otherworldly effect. Gbaule are divination objects used by the We to determine the causes of illness a...



    In New Spain and in the Caribbean, chocolate was the preferred elite beverage. An Italian traveler in the late eighteenth century noted that “all over the kingdom of Mexico it is the practice to drink chocolate twice a day.... The first [time] is early in the morning—many times they drink it in bed. The second time it is taken is around [4 p.m.].”

    Before the conquest, chocolate, an American product then unknown to Europeans, was a foamy, bitter combination of cacao and water, mixed with achiote for color, chili peppers for spice, and wild honey for sweetness. The Spanish were the first to sweeten the drink with sugar.

    Chocolate was accompanied by pieces of sweet bread and pastries for dipping and served in elaborate containers such as double-handled bernegales (see illustration), silver-mounted coconut shells, and jícaras (chocolate cups) with their corresponding mancerinas (saucers). The costly ingredients used to prepare chocolate were secured in special jars with iron or silver locks and kept under the watch of the lady of the house.

    Chocolate, imported from Mexico, was very expensive in colonial British America. The wealth of Brooklyn’s Wyckoff family in the early 1800s is suggested by their purported use of a cider jug (on view here) as a chocolate pot.


    En la Nueva España y el Caribe, el chocolate era la bebida preferida de la élite. Un viajero italiano a fines del siglo XVIII menciona que “por todo el reino de México es práctica el beber el chocolate dos veces al día.... La primera [vez] es temprano por la mañana–muchas veces lo beben en la cama. La segunda vez se toma alrededor [de las 4 pm].”

    Antes de la conquista, el chocolate, un producto americano desconocido por los europeos, era una bebida espumosa y amarga hecha con cacao y agua, mezclada con achiote para darle color, con ají para especiarla y con miel silvestre para darle dulzor. Los españoles fueron los primeros en endulzar la bebida con azúcar.

    El chocolate se acompañaba con pedazos de pan dulce y pasteles para remojar y se servía en elaborados recipientes como los bernegales de doble asa (ver ilustración), nueces de coco montadas en plata y jícaras (tazas de chocolate) con sus correspondientes mancerinas (platillos). Los costosos ingredientes usados para preparar chocolate se guardaban en jarros especiales con cerraduras de hierro o de plata y se mantenían bajo la custodia de la señora de la casa.

    El chocolate era sumamente costoso en la América colonial británica, ya que tenia que importarse de México. La riqueza de la familia Wyckoff de Brooklyn a principios del siglo XIX se ponía en evidencia por el empleo de una gran jarra de sidra (mostrada aquí) para chocolate.

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