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  • Water Pitcher marked "John B. Akin" "Danville, KY"
  • Item 1288
  • $12,000

Offered is one of the icons of Kentucky silver, a water pitcher marked on the bottom “John B. Akin” “Danville, KY” “PLK” “Clinton Co. Mc.”  The form and proportions of this pitcher represent the perfection of Classical style in American silver. Please select the link for additional photos below to read additional information by Marquis Boultinghouse in his book Silversmiths of Kentucky, 1785-1900 gives the following information about Akin:

  Akin, John Brent

  Apparently a successful jeweler, since many examples of silver bearing his jeweler’s mark are in existence, John B. Akin is still an enigma, for very little information regarding his life can be found.  The U.S. Census of 1860 for Danville, Boyle Co., listed John B. Akin as a jeweler, aged 35, with a personal worth of $2000 and real estate and/or other property with a value of $8000.  His wife E. A., age 25, and son David, age 10, were listed in the same census.

   The December 21, 1855 issue of the Kentucky Tribune carried a brief announcement that John Akin was disposing of his business because of ill health.  The state of his health must have improved however, for on August 1 of the following year the Kentucky Tribune carried a one-column, half-page ad listing a wide assortment of silverware and jewelry for sale.  Hawes’ Business Director for 1859-60 listed “John B. Akin, Jeweler, Main opposite the Sneed House, Danville.”

   The name of Corporal John Akin appeared on the roll of the Boone Guards when they were mustered into service by Brigadier General Anderson September 17 to 30, 1861, though it is unclear that this was the same John B. Akin (History of Ohio Falls Counties, Vol. 1, page 144).

   Apparently John B. Akin purchased most, if not all, of his silver hollowware from Peter L. Krider of Philadelphia, and then added his own mark “John B. Akin Danville,” as there are no known major pieces bearing Akin’s name without also bearing either the name “Peter L. Krider” or the initials “P.L.K.”  Spoons of several sizes are in existence, however, which bear Akin’s mark alone, indicating that they may have been manufactured by him.

The pitcher being offered for sale is apparently larger than the pitcher Boultinghouse shows in his book as being marked by Akin.  He refers to that pitcher as a milk pitcher.

Dimensions:   13-1/8 inches to the top of the handle
                    4-3/4 inches in diameter at the base

Monogram:  MCW

Condition:  Slight denting on body from use.

Weight:  1 lb. 11.4 oz.

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