Christopher Dresser (1835–1906)
Christopher Dresser, one of the foremost independent industrial designers of the nineteenth century, produced an amazing array of forward-looking designs in ceramic, metal, textile, wallpapers, carpets, and furniture as a freelancer for leading firms such as Wedgwood and Minton. He was trained as a botanist and searched for the underlying geometry in nature, as seen in the floral decoration of the soup plate here. He also hoped to realize the promise of the Industrial Revolution to make well-designed products available to as large an audience as possible, often using inexpensive materials: the radically simplified design of the jug here is realized in silver plate rather than silver, and the soup plate is earthenware rather than porcelain. Although we look back at Dresser’s designs—particularly the iconic forms of the jug and toast rack—as prescient examples of protomodernism, the prevailing taste of his time and for decades after was for historically inspired, traditional designs such as the elaborate pitcher here (given by the postal workers of East Liverpool, Ohio, to President Theodore Roosevelt in 1905).
5 3/8 x 5 1/4 x 4 1/4 in. (13.7 x 13.3 x 10.8 cm) (show scale)
Underside, central horizontal bar, incised: 'TIFFANY & CO. MAKERS'; '7236'; [illegible mark]; 'SHAWDNEWEREUER'(?)
This item is not on view
Gift of Marie Bernice Bitzer, by exchange
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
Christopher Dresser (English, 1834-1904). Toast Rack, ca. 1880. Silverplate, 5 3/8 x 5 1/4 x 4 1/4 in. (13.7 x 13.3 x 10.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Marie Bernice Bitzer, by exchange, 1997.114. Creative Commons-BY
overall, 1997.114_PS6.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2011
"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.
Silverplate toast rack with triangular sections, central 't' bar handle and four short feet. Square base toast rack with 7 triangles as holders for toast slices, at base central horizontal bar and attached vertical pole handle with 't' shape finial; the whole on four short feet.
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.