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Biscuit Box

Not on view

Biscuit Box

Maker: Kennard & Jenks (active Boston, Massachusetts, 1876-1879)

Possible Retailer: Gorham Manufacturing Company (active Providence, Rhode Island, 1831-present)

Date: 1878
Medium: Silver and copper
Overall: 5 3/4 x 4 3/8 x 4 3/8in. (14.6 x 11.1 x 11.1cm)
Credit Line: Museum Purchase with funds from the Sayre-Bryant Bequest
Object number: 89.11
Label Text
During the last quarter of the nineteenth century, the ornamentation of American silver was influenced by a variety of foreign design sources. The trompe l'oeil damask napkin lid on this biscuit box was derived from Russian silver motifs that simulated textiles. The decoration on the body of the box--a textured surface with applied naturalistic dragonflies and plant life asymmetrically arranged--was inspired by Japanese patterns. In 1854 Admiral Matthew Perry opened Japan to Western trade. The resulting influx of Japanese goods to American markets had a dramatic impact on fine and decorative arts.