On February 4, 1774 the surviving son of Martha Washington -- John "Jacky" Parke Custis -- married Eleanor Calvert, uniting two of the most well-connected and wealthy families in colonial America. Although young (nineteen and sixteen, respectively), the couple recognized the importance of surrounding themselves with fine goods that spoke of their fortune, taste, and gentility. They assembled an impressive array of silver hollow and flatware imported from England including this salver. It is one of four that originally graced the Custis dinner table; three are now at Mount Vernon.

See also hot water urn, W-107, cruet stand, W-484, salvers, W-108 and W-2760, bread basket, W-2519, punch strainer, W-2527, ladle, W-2554, and candlesticks, W-2521/A.1-D.2.


Flat circular salver with raised and shaped rim featuring twelve bracket-like segments separated by chased shells of two alternating designs. A cast gadrooned or ropelike border with twelve points of alternating shell and foliate designs that correspond to the shells is applied to the outer edge of the rim. Four, short, cast cabriole legs on ball-and-claw feet. Tray is engraved at center with the Custis' arms: a splayed griffon, head facing the viewer's left, in a shield suspended from a ribbon and flanked by two flowering sprigs.


c. 1774-1775






Overall: 1 1/4 in. x 10 1/4 in. x 10 1/4 in. (3.18 cm x 26.04 cm x 26.04 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Mary Lee Bowman and Robert E. Lee IV, 1981


Four hallmarks or stamps on the underside of the salver, near left edge: maker's mark features the letters "I" and "C", separated by a dot, all in a canted-corner rectangle; date letter features the letter "T" in a shield; British sterling standard mark features a lion passant in a pointed shield; London city mark features a crowned leopard's head in a shield.

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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