In 1783, George Washington asked his nephew, Bushrod Washington, to discreetly inquire if "plate is fashionable and much used in genteel houses in France and England." He must have been satisfied with the answer, for he soon requested New York merchant Daniel Parker to order for him silver plated tea and coffee wares from England. The shipment that arrived in December 1784 included "2 Ea sug[a]r & cream pails with Ladles & Glasses," each engraved with Washington's crest. The delicate piercing on this sugar pail would have originally provided glimpses of the now missing cobalt blue glass liner.


A: Fused silver plate sugar pail with pierced and stamped decoration; raised, urn form body on trumpet pedestal foot; cast and applied beading around rim of body and edge of foot; body exhibits pierced and stamped decoration consisting of four equidistant oval medallions linked by floral garlands enclosed by top and bottom pierced borders of rosettes and leaves, below which is a border of pierced reeding; one of the oval medallions has been left unpierced and is instead engraved with the Washington crest, an eagle issuing from a coronet; reeded bail handle.

B: Replacement liner


c. 1784




A: Fused silverplate on copper B: Silverplate


Overall: 5 3/8 in. x 4 1/8 in. (13.64 cm x 10.49 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Lieutenant Commander George Edward French (U.S.N.), 1952
Conservation courtesy of the Life Guard Society of Historic Mount Vernon


Engraved on one of the oval medallions on the body of the pail, the Washington crest, an eagle issuing from a coronet.

Object Number


Colors (Beta)

Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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