Overall: 12 1/4 x 11 1/2 in. ( 31.1 x 29.2 cm )
Bulbous salt-glazed stoneware jug decorated with applied squirming snakes with human faces, each representing different members of the Boss Tweed Ring with the head of Thomas Nast on the jug neck above the others; political sarcasms are hand inscribed all over; stopper is composed of a coiled snake.
Gift of Mrs. Thomas Nast
Inscribed: in rectangle near base: "From,/Kirkpatrick,/Anna Ills/Th. Nast NY"
The swirling mass of snakes and heads on this jug represents the Boss Tweed ring, a notoriously corrupt group of New York City politicians. The jug was created as a thank you gift for Thomas Nast, a renowned political cartoonist of the 1860s and '70s. Nast had used his cartoons to attack Tweed and his henchmen, who controlled the political machine known as Tammany Hall. Tweed is the bearded head without glasses, and most of the other heads represent his associates.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.