As president, George Washington regularly held formal dinners at his executive residence. Such occasions were marked by carefully selected tablewares purchased by Congress. They included elegant ivory- and silver-handled cutlery and flatware. Although the presidential service was probably sold at a 1797 public auction, this similar set, possibly owned by the family of Washington's friend and colleague, Samuel Powel, serves to illustrate the splendor of his table.
See also dinner knives, M-3437/1-4, 6-16, M-3558/3-21, and M-4100/7-12; dinner forks, M-3437/27-42, M-3558/26-47, and M-4100/1-6; dessert knives, M-3437/17-23 and M-3558/22-25; dessert knife blade, M-3437/24; dessert forks, M-3437/43-53 and M-3558/48-59; carving forks, M-3437/25 and M-3558/2; carving knife, M-3558/1, and silver caps, M-3437/54-56.
Dinner knife with straight steel blade and flared silver collar set into spiral-fluted ivory handle; silver end cap engraved with the Powel family crest, an eight-pointed star nestled in a crescent of clouds issuing from a wreath.
Ivory, steel, silver
Overall (H x W x D): 11 3/16 in. x 15/16 in. x 5/8 in. (28.42 cm x 2.38 cm x 1.59 cm)
Gift of Adelaide Hare Powel Bitting and Mrs. Richard Alexander, Vice Regent for Rhode Island, 1991
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