Goblet (part of three-piece presentation set)

Newell Harding & Co. (American, active 1851–1889), Newell Harding (1796–1862), Francis Low Harding (about 1851–1889), Alexander H. Lewis (American, 1815–1859), Lewis Kimball (American, active about 1851–1885)

Object Place: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Overall: 15.3 x 8.6 cm (6 x 3 3/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View




Silver hollowware

The bowl of the goblet is raised and sits on a stemmed, domed foot. Beaded trim is applied to the rims of the cup and the foot, and a ribbed band embellishes the stem.

This three-piece libation set saluted Col. Isaac Hull Wright (1814 – 1886) in appreciation of his “eloquent argument” for the preservation of the voluntary militia. Wright was a popular and respected Bostonian whose wit and eloquence meant that he was in great demand as a public speaker. An honored veteran of the Mexican War, he had enlisted as a private in Company B, Massachusetts Volunteers. He was elected lieutenant colonel and later made colonel of the regiment. Gen. Zachary Taylor appointed Colonel Wright to be military governor of Monterrey and Perote after their capture by U.S. forces. After the war, President Taylor made Wright a naval officer of Boston. He subsequently commanded the Boston Light Dragoons and commanded, for one year, the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company.
As illustrated by this handsome service, Newell Harding & Co. provided custom-engraved presentation pieces (see also cat. nos. 205, 207). The style is generally conservative, related to the elegant Neoclassical shapes and smooth, polished surface popular earlier in the century. By contrast, the exuberant engraving encircling the body of the pitcher reflects the newer Rococo-revival style fashionable at midcentury.

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.


"Token / to / I. H. W. / April 1855" opposite Massachusetts arms in foliate shield.


"N. HARDING & CO." incised in capital letters under body.


Col. Isaac Hull Wright (1814 – 1886) and Clementine G. Ballou (b. 1812) of New Hampshire, m. 1837; to their niece Florence Ballou Farrar (b. 1843), who was the daughter of Clementine’s sister Feducia Ballou and Abijah Farrer. Florence Ballou Farrar m. Frederick Henry Viaux (b. 1839) in 1873, and the pitcher descended to their daughter Florence Viaux (1878 – 1981) and her nephew Frederic Ballou Viaux, the donors.

Credit Line

Gift of Miss Florence Viaux and Frederic Ballou Viaux