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Object Name: Sugar bowl with cover
Date: ca. 1863
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Medium: Silver
Dimensions: Overall: 6 1/4 × 8 3/4 × 6 in., 23 oz (troy) 8.8 dwt (15.9 × 22.2 × 15.2 cm, 729.1 g)
Place made: North America, United States, New York
Description: Cast and wrought silver presentation sugar bowl; squat, globular body with an applied band of engraved anchors linked by a rope, around the center; two applied oval medallions with rope borders and cast eagles on oak tree branches applied to the tops; one medallion engraved, "Presented to/ Alban C. Stimers Ch. Engr. U.S.N./ to commemorate important services/ rendered to his Country/ on board/ THE MONITOR./ before and during her memorable conflict/ with the MERRIMAC./ in Hampton Roads./ March 9th 1862." in script and an engraved image of the "Merrimac" on the other; seated on a circular foot; two cast squared strap handles with applied, cast crowned head's of Neptune and laurel leaf joints; circular, domed lid with a rope border and surmounted by a cast finial comprised of a Watts type centrifugal governor (used for regulating the speeds of engines), a cannon and a bayonet; makers' marks stamped on the base.
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Walter (Julia Stimers) Durbrow
Object Number: 1940.479ab
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Marks: engraved: on front medallion: "Presented to/ Alban C. Stimers Ch. Engr. U.S.N./ to commemorate important services/ rendered to his Country/ on board/ THE MONITOR./ before and during her memorable conflict/ with the MERRIMAC./ in Hampton Roads./ March 9th 1862." in script and block letters stamped: on the base: "TIFFANY & CO." in a banner over "1000" over ENGLISH STERLING/ 925-1000" in a conforming rectangle over "8392" over "550 Broadway" in a banner all between two gothic "M" in ovals

Gallery Label:

On February 2, 1863, Alban C. Stimers (1827-1876), chief engineer of the ironclad warship USS Monitor, was given a five-piece tea and coffee service, including this small sugar bowl. The set was presented in the midst of the Civil War by John Ericsson (1803-1889), the illustrious Swedish-born designer of the ship, and a group of prominent New Yorkers. The set was custom-made for the occasion, as witnessed by ornament such as the sugar bowl's finial, a model of a Watts-type centrifugal governor (a device used to regulate engine speed), and its rope-framed medallion, anchor midband, and handles with Neptune masks.

Provenance:

Presented to Alban Crocker Stimers (1827-1876), who married Julia Ann Derby (1835-1903); to their daughter Julia Stimers Durbrow (b. 1861), the donor.

Exhibitions:

"Marks of Achievement: Four Centuries of American Presentation Silver," The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX, 1987.


"Glimmers of the Past: Presentation Silver from the Collection of The New-York Historical Society," New-York Historical Society, September 2–December 5, 1999.