Skip Navigation


Decorative Arts

On View: Special Exhibition Gallery, 4th Floor
The vegetable-shaped salt and pepper shakers and the curvilinear flask are splendid examples of the Aesthetic Movement style, which appeared strikingly new and modern to consumers at the time. The form of the shakers was inspired by realistic Japanese metal objects with which Americans were just becoming familiar, and their maker used a newly invented process to patinate the silver to resemble weathered copper. The irregular, ergonomic contour and dense Southwestern landscape of the flask would have also seemed quite daring to the original purchaser. In contrast, the all-over, hard-edged design of the later flask evokes the emerging, dynamic skyscraper skyline of big cities, and the unadorned, pyramidal forms of the later salt and pepper shakers have a timeless quality. While all of these objects were progressive when made, only the later ones still speak the language of modern design.
MEDIUM Sterling silver and cork
DATES 1925-1930
DIMENSIONS 9 5/8 x 4 1/2 x 1 3/16in. (24.4 x 11.4 x 3cm) Other (a): 9 5/8 x 4 1/2 x 1 3/16 x 7/8 in. (24.4 x 11.4 x 3 x 2.2 cm) Other (b): 9 1/4 x 4 1/2 x 1 in. (23.5 x 11.4 x 2.5 cm) Other: 7/8in. (2.2cm)  (show scale)
MARKINGS Stamped on lip of opening: "NAPIER STERLING 16 OZ"
COLLECTIONS Decorative Arts
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Special Exhibition Gallery, 4th Floor
CREDIT LINE Modernism Benefit Fund
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.

Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact (charges apply).

For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch.

For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright.

If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
CAPTION The Napier Company (1922-present). Flask, 1925-1930. Sterling silver and cork, 9 5/8 x 4 1/2 x 1 3/16in. (24.4 x 11.4 x 3cm). Brooklyn Museum, Modernism Benefit Fund, 1990.10a-b. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE overall, 1990.10a-b_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2014
"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 Flask, sterling silver and cork. Trapezoidal body (a) with rounded narrow bottom widens to stepped shoulder with threaded cylindrical opening on top; threaded cap (b) telescopes into a cup of four interlocking segments. Interior of cap lined with cork. Engraved decoration of lines radiating from the lower right and lower left corners in imitation of the pattern of criss-crossing beams of light. CONDITION: Good. Surface scratches overall. Some nicks on sides. Some minor discoloration. Cap (b) is slightly misshapen with scratches on top.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.