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Antique Silverplate P&O Milk Jug

Antique Silverplate P&O Milk Jug

$225.00

"This vast empire on which the sun never sets, and whose bounds nature has not yet ascertained."

The British Empire during the nineteenth century was one that truly spanned the globe, that reached all four corners of the earth and that left its mark on every continent. The expansive reach of the United Kingdom is perhaps best symbolized by her mighty shipping lines, flying the Union Jack across the high seas to far-flung ports in lands that were all but unknown.  And of all the British shipping lines, the one that most captures this expansive spirit is the great Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company - known simply as P&O.

P&O's roots can be traced back to 1822 when a ship broker and a sailor joined forces and began offering service between England and the Iberian Peninsula: the countries of Spain and Portugal. By 1835 their regular steamer service operated under the name Peninsular Steam Navigation Company, with the colors of their house flag a combination of the white and blue from the Portuguese flag, along with the red and yellow of the Spanish flag.  Two years later, in 1837, they won a contract from the British Navy to deliver mail to the Iberian Peninsula and by 1840 they also won the contract to deliver mail to Egypt. Traditionally, the countries of the Middle East were considered part of the Orient and thus in that same year, the company changed its name to the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company.

In the early 20th-century, P&O made its money with lucrative mail delivery contracts, acquiring several other British shipping companies including the British India Steam Navigation Company (at the time Britain's largest shipping line), the General Steam Navigation Company (the oldest established steamship company), as well as the Orient Line among many others.  By the mid-1920s, their fleet had grown to almost 500 ships, they were the largest shipping company in the world and their reach was truly global. By the end of World War II, they were not only a major player in commercial shipping, but also passenger service, offering luxurious service to virtually anywhere in the world.

From the glorious P&O oceanliners, we are proud to offer this extremely rare, magnificent Silverplate Milk Jug or Cream Pitcher. Produced by the venerable Elkington silversmiths, this gleaming piece represents the high standard of passenger amenities from the Golden Age of Travel. This one-of-a-kind jug is side-marked with the company's early 1900s-era logo of a rising sun over the P&O monogram and is date code stamped with its year of manufacture: 1924. 

A gorgeous piece of historic oceanliner silver from one of the most storied shipping lines, this beautiful cream pitcher or milk jug is sure to be the centerpiece of your collection.


Strictly one-of-a-kind and subject to prior sale. 5"H x 5.25"W. In very good original antique condition. 3 pint capacity.

Learn More about Hotel Silver

Once found in Grand Hotels, chic cafés, elegant restaurants as well as luxury steamships and the dining cars of the great locomotives, vintage hotel silver beautifully evokes the Golden Age of Travel. Enduringly crafted using sturdy nickel silver as its base metal and coated with a thick plating of pure, gleaming silver, vintage hotel silver is unmistakeable for its simple, classic lines and its pleasing heft. Often crested with the name of the establishment, the pieces bear the gentle, lovely patina often referred to as a “butler’s finish”.

Produced by the great silversmiths here in the United States, as well as those in Britain and on the Continent, most hotel silver dates from the 1920s to the 1940s. Prized for its perfect blend of form and function, hotel silver was made to withstand the rigors of daily use. Highly collectible, vintage hotel silver is a wonderful addition to any home.

Evoking the days of elegant travel, there are many new ways that hotel silver can be enjoyed. A milk pitcher or sugar basin makes an elegant vase for flowers or fresh herbs on the kitchen counter. A collection of oval platters adds sparkle and depth in a hutch when not being called into service for a buffet or dinner party. A toast rack becomes the perfect way to display photographs, hold fingertip towels in a powder room or organize mail in the office. Mix and match cutlery brings a relaxed sophistication and elegance to any tablescape. Whatever the piece, vintage hotel silver is sure to stir memories not only of your own travels, but of exotic destinations and ports of call from parts unknown.

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