A visitor to Mount Vernon in 1796 noted that each evening at seven, if good weather allowed, the Washingtons and their guests proceeded to "the large and magnificent Portico at the back of the house where the tea equipage was paraded in order." George Washington had imported a complete set of silverplated tea and coffee wares from England in 1784, including a pair of sugar pails. The delicate piercing on this pail would have originally provided glimpses of the now missing cobalt blue glass liner.


Fused silverplate 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.


c. 1784




Fused silverplate on copper


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

Credit Line

Purchase, 1982
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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