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Punch bowl owned by Robert R. Livingston (1746–1813)

Object Name: Punch bowl
Date: ca. 1795
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Medium: Porcelain
Dimensions: Overall: 5 in. × 11 1/2 in. (12.7 × 29.2 cm)
Place made: Asia, China
Description: Circular hard-paste porcelain punch bowl decorated with Masonic imagery in polychrome enamels; bowl interior painted with two pillars on either side of a sun and the letter "G" at center; sides of bowl interior painted with stars, sun, moon, and rain; exterior of bowl painted with Masonic symbols of industry, including a compass and square, beehive, and scythe.
Credit Line: Gift of Samuel V. Hoffman
Object Number: 1925.28
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This Chinese export porcelain punch bowl belonged to Chancellor Robert R. Livingston (1746-1813). It is decorated with Masonic symbols, including a sun, moon, "G," square, beehive, and scythe. The bowl may have been presented to the Chancellor by his fellow Freemasons around 1795, on his 50th birthday. He served as Grandmaster of the Grand Lodge of New York from 1784 to 1801. The Freemasons, a fraternal order still in existence today, counted many Founding Fathers among their members.


"Robert R. Livingston and the American Enlightenment," Clermont State Historic Site, June 29 - December 18, 1996.
"New York and the China Trade," The New-York Historical Society, February 22 - August 26, 1984.