Strainer, part of ten-piece punch service
Object Place: New York, New York, United States
Overall: 9 x 26.3 cm, 0.54 kg (3 9/16 x 10 3/8 in., 1.19 lb.)
Medium or Technique
Not On View
The sieve, or strainer, fits closely inside the punch bowl (1984.460) and is pierced in a dense geometric design at the bottom. Two small round ring handles are attached to the inner walls.
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.
Col. Charles Roome (1812 – 1890) to his son; to his daughter Elizabeth Roome Luquer, the donor.
Gift of Elizabeth Roome Luquer in memory of her grandfather, General Charles Roome