The Bryant Vase

Designer: Designed by James Horton Whitehouse (1833–1902)

Manufacturer: Manufactured by Tiffany & Co. (1837–present)

Decorator: Chased by Eugene J. Soligny (1832–1901)

Designer: Medallions by Augustus Saint-Gaudens (American, Dublin 1848–1907 Cornish, New Hampshire)

Date: 1875–76

Geography: Made in New York, New York, United States

Culture: American

Medium: Silver

Dimensions: 33 1/2 x 14 x 11 5/16 in. (85.1 x 35.6 x 28.7 cm); Diam. 11 5/16 in. (28.7cm); 452 oz. 16 dwt. (14084.2 g)

Classification: Silver

Credit Line: Gift of William Cullen Bryant, 1877

Accession Number: 77.9a, b


To honor the poet William Cullen Bryant on his eightieth birthday, in November 1874, a group of his friends commissioned this vessel fashioned in the form of a Greek vase and richly ornamented with symbolic motifs. The fretwork is composed of American flora, in particular, apple blossoms and branches which represent the beauty and wholesome quality of Bryant's poetry. The Renaissance-revival medallions are scenes alluding to Bryant's life and works. "Truth crushed to earth shall rise again" (a famous line from his poetry) is inlaid in gold around the neck of the vase.