Towards the end of the 19th Century, Tiffany & Co. produced genre pieces inspired by the exotic yearnings of post-war America. Looking at Near Eastern motifs, Tiffany & Co. designers from Edward C. Moore (d.1891) to Paulding Farnham (d. 1927) produced masterpieces, many of which where displayed at the International Expositions.
The Hunt, another common theme at the time, was partially inspired by the heroic exploits and writings of Theodore Roosevelt (President 1901-1909). In fact, Tiffany crafted a personally engraved hunting knife with silver sheath and handle for Roosevelt in 1885.
The present example was likely commissioned by one of Tiffany's many wealthy patrons as a remembrance for a specific African adventure. An ivory pitcher depicting an exotic hunting scene and mounted on a silver base modelled as a bed of cactus is known to have been made by Tiffany & Co. to commemorate a hunting expedition of Theodore Roosevelt's brother, Elliot Roosevelt.