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Object Name: Ice cream dish
Date: 1877-1878
Related People:
Medium: Silver
Dimensions: Overall: 6 1/4 × 15 3/8 in. (15.9 × 39.1 cm)
Place made: New York
Description: Wrought silver and gilt ice cream dish in an Indian design; shallow, almost flat, circular body with a wide, lobed rim; each lobe repoussé chased with clovers, thistle or flowers; foliate trefoil motifs are applied at the top of the rim at each plain division; the wrought initials, "M L M" are applied to the rim on one side and the Hungerford (Mrs. Mackay's) family coat of arms topped by a crown and thistle are applied to the opposite side of the rim; interior of the bowl is gilt with an etched and lightly engraved, scalloped ring of flowers; bowl seated on a molded footring with an applied Chinese fret-work and Indian floral apron; four elephant trunk feet with chased Asian flowers and vines are applied to the underside of the apron; maker's mark and object number on the base.
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. John Mackay
Object Number: 1980.14
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Marks: Wrought, applied to rim: "M L M" in foliate roman letters; stamped on the base: "TIFFANY & Co / 4878 MAKERS 5635 / STERLING-SILVER / 925-1000 / M"; engraved on the base: "207 / _ / 5"

Gallery Label:

This ice cream dish was part of an extravagant 1,250-piece dinner service made by Tiffany & Co. for John W. and Marie Louise Mackay. In 1873, "Silver King" John Mackay discovered the Comstock Lode, a vast silver deposit in Virginia City, Nevada, and he had the service made from half a ton of silver extracted from the mine. It was the largest and most ornate service of the Gilded Age. Reportedly, two hundred craftsmen worked on the service exclusively for two years.


Marie Louise Hungerford Mackay (1843-1928) and John William Mackay (1831-1902); to their son Clarence Hungerford Mackay (1874-1938), who married Katherine Duer (1872-1930); to their son John William Mackay (1907-1988), the donor.


"The Paris Exposition," The American Pavillion, Paris, 1878.

"Tiffany Silver," New-York Historical Society, March–May 1980.

"Tiffany Silver, One Hundred Fiftieth Anniversay," Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, 1987.

"Stories in Sterling: Four Centuries of Silver in New York," New-York Historical Society, May 4–September 23, 2012; Flagler Museum, Palm Beach, FL, January 28–April 20, 2014.