Punch Bowl, part of a ten-piece punch service

about 1864
Tiffany & Co. (American, active 1837–present), Designed by Edward C. Moore (1827–1891)


Object Place: New York, New York, United States

Dimensions

Overall: 25.9 x 28.6 cm (10 3/16 x 11 1/4 in.)

Accession Number

1984.460

Medium or Technique

Silver

Not On View

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Silver hollowware

The spun punch bowl is hemispherical in form; an applied egg-and-dart band joins the lower body of the bowl to a concave collar encircled with an engraved guilloche decoration on its upper rim. Two pendant oval handles are attached to the cast grotesque mounts. The bowl’s trumpet-shaped base is decorated with beading at the upper and lower edges.


This lavish presentation punch service is distinguished by Neoclassical ornament and elaborate inscriptions. It consists of a footed bowl, tray, six goblets, a strainer, and a ladle. Its small, practical size suggests that it was intended for personal use, serving an intimate party of celebrants in a private setting rather than a crowd for a public occasion. The service was offered in 1864 to Col. Charles Roome by the 37th New York Militia, the regiment he commanded at the defense of Baltimore in 1862. Colonel (later General) Roome was a prominent Mason and served as president of both the Consolidated Gas Company and the St. Nicholas Society of New York City.
The service is an example of the high level of craftsmanship that continued in the silver trade past midcentury, evident in the judicious combination of modern manufacturing techniques and skilled handwork. The highly polished, plain surface of the hemispherical, spun bowl contrasts with the hand-chased complexity of the grotesque heads holding the unusual oval loop handles. Each element of the seven-part inscription is engraved in a different style, with the name of the recipient dominating in decorated Gothic-style letters. Silver remained a favorite medium for public testimonials during the nineteenth century. Tiffany & Co. produced many presentation and commemorative pieces and borrowed one hundred such examples to exhibit at the Philadephia Centennial Exhibition in 1876. This set was executed by the shop of Edward C. Moore, who for forty years guided the Tiffany silver business as designer and manager.

This text has been adapted from “Silver of the Americas, 1600-2000,” edited by Jeannine Falino and Gerald W.R. Ward, published in 2008 by the MFA. Complete references can be found in that publication.

Inscription

“Presented / to / Colonel Charles Roome / by / the 37th Regiment, National Guard, / State of New York. / December 1864.” in various lettering styles and accompanied by numerous flourishes, engraved on punch bowl, centered between handles. “IBIMUS QUOCUMQUE OFFICIUM VOCAT,” in an ellipse on the Order of the Garter engraved on opposite side of bowl. The coat of arms and crest of the 37th New York Regiment, with “37” at the center, surrounded by the Order of the Garter, engraved in Latin, and a crest of a raised knight’s arm holding a hatchet, on a torse engraved on side of punch bowl, between the handles.

Markings

“TIFFANY & CO.” within an arched reserve; “561” incuse; “ENGLISH STERLING / 925-1000” within a conforming reserve; “1049” incuse; “550 Broadway” within an arched reserve; and Gothic-style “M” within an ellipse struck twice, flanking the whole, all struck on punch bowl, inside trumpet foot.

Provenance

Col. Charles Roome (1812 – 1890) to his son; to his daughter Elizabeth Roome Luquer, the donor.

Credit Line

Gift of Elizabeth Roome Luquer in memory of her grandfather, General Charles Roome