Tilting Ice Water Pitcher on Stand with Two Goblets, 1892<img alt="" src="/sites/GovernorsMansion/Exhibitions/PublishingImages/Art-of-Illinois/tilting-ice-water-pitcher-1.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Tilting Ice Water Pitcher on Stand with Two Goblets, 1892<div class="ExternalClass510ABBC59F3C484A8FE82E18414E685A"><p>​On his 78th birthday in 1892, William F. Dickinson, president of the Aurora Silver Plate Manufacturing Company, received a handsome gift from his board of directors: an ornate silver-plated tilting ice water pitcher on a stand, complete with two goblets. Typical of the firm's creations, it was heavily embellished with engraved floral decorations and soldered filigree. A year later, the company displayed similar pieces at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.</p><p>Founded in 1869 as the Chicago Silver Plating Company, the firm operated for just a few months before moving southwest to Aurora, where it was renamed the Aurora Silver Plate Manufacturing Company. There, in a new four-story factory, a powerful rolling mill turned "white metal"—probably an alloy of tin—into long, flat sheets from which workers shaped hollowware and flatware, which were then silver-plated. Styles and ornamentation were of such quality that it rivaled solid silver, but cost only about one-tenth as much. Hollowware was made in every conceivable pattern and shape, varying in size from salt dips to umbrella stands. Food service items like serving dishes and utensils were most common, but they also made lamps, card receivers, even trophies. Flatware was offered in dozens of patterns, with full lines of serving utensils. In addition to silver-plated white metal, they produced planished tin ware with white metal trimming, gold-plated goods, and gilt-washed items.</p><p>Many pieces were incised with birds, landscapes, insects, tree branches, or animals. Others were embellished with soldered decorations—birds, squirrels, dogs, chicks, butterflies, flowers, and other fanciful creations. </p><p>In 1920, Evanston silversmiths David and Walter Mulholland purchased the company and renamed it Mulholland Brothers. The brothers had supplied handwrought silver to the Cellini Shop and retail jewelers between 1914 and 1917. They in turn sold the business to new owners around 1924. Renamed Mulholland Silver Co., the firm turned out a handsome line of electroplated nickel-silver tableware and pewter until 1932.</p><p> <img class="img-thumbnail" alt="Tilting Ice Water Pitcher on Stand with Two Goblets, 1892 front view" src="/sites/GovernorsMansion/Exhibitions/PublishingImages/Art-of-Illinois/tilting-ice-water-pitcher.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:300px;" /> </p></div>GP0|#bbb7b1e2-08ce-4c96-98d5-d1770d7a0740;L0|#0bbb7b1e2-08ce-4c96-98d5-d1770d7a0740|Aurora Silver Plate Manfacturing Company;GTSet|#6a9f5109-021d-478a-ae73-864102492159;GPP|#b8008031-8d86-41bf-8c8c-657f66f046d4;GPP|#be65f490-4890-487c-bb16-c396d99511f7Silver Plate;#TemporaryOther;#Aurora, IllinoisElectroplated nickel, 24 × 11 × 10 inches Inscription: PRESENTED TO/ Wm F. Dickinson/PRES’T. OF AURORA S.P. MFG. CO./ on his 78th Anniversary/ BY THE DIRECTORS OF THE COMPANY/ - April 19th 1892. Collection of Aurora Historical Society