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Salt or Pepper Shaker, One of Pair

Decorative Arts

On View: American Identities: A New Look, Expanding Horizons, 5th Floor
These salt and pepper shakers were inspired by small figurines thought to represent native South American Aztec gods and goddesses, such as the one illustrated here. The newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst purchased twelve sets of the shakers (one pair for each place setting) to add to an elaborate silver dinner service by Tiffany & Company that featured North American Indian figures on the handles of the silverware. Hearst also owned the large Tiffany & Company silver tray in this gallery, which replicates the famous ancient Aztec calendar stone.
MEDIUM Silver, turquoise
  • Place Manufactured: New York, United States
  • DATES ca. 1907
    DIMENSIONS 2 1/4 x 1 7/8 x 1 1/8 in. (5.7 x 4.8 x 2.9 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS On bottom: "TIFFANY & Co / 13319 MAKERS 1 [effaced] / STERLING SILVER / 925-1000 / m / 9"
    SIGNATURE no signature
    INSCRIPTIONS no inscriptions
    COLLECTIONS Decorative Arts
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in American Identities: A New Look, Expanding Horizons, 5th Floor
    ACCESSION NUMBER 88.22.1a-b
    CREDIT LINE H. Randolph Lever Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Tiffany & Company (American, founded 1853). Salt or Pepper Shaker, One of Pair, ca. 1907. Silver, turquoise, 2 1/4 x 1 7/8 x 1 1/8 in. (5.7 x 4.8 x 2.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, H. Randolph Lever Fund, 88.22.1a-b. Creative Commons-BY
    IMAGE overall, 88.22.1a-b_88.22.2a-b_transp2951.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Shaker (a) and lid (b), silver, in form of Aztec female deity in tunic with arms upraised. Head unscrews with bayonet mechanism. Top of head pierced with many small holes. Pendant braids on rear, each set with small turquoise stone. CONDITION: Some oxidation on b near juncture of a & b; two turquoise stones missing from necklace in front. Turquoise stone on back chipped. 06 13 1989, two missing stones purchased from Greenwood Gems. 10 West 49th St. and remounted by Kirk's Setting Co., 2 West 47 St. NYC.
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    Salt or Pepper Shaker, One of Pair