Label

Ever pragmatic, George Washington sought to surround himself with simple, yet refined goods that would best serve his needs. One such example is this inkstand. Made of silver plate, a cheaper and more accessible alternative to solid silver wares, its neoclassical swags and foliage pay homage to the republican ideals that were sweeping the new nation. The inkstand remained at Mount Vernon until after his death, when Mrs. Washington's grandson-in-law, Lawrence Lewis (1767-1839), purchased it at an 1802 estate sale.

Description

A:
Inkstand formed from a sheet of fused, double-plated silver on copper; the boat-like oval stand has two circular galleries soldered to the surface; their pierced sides feature a band of pierced and punched dots enclosed by two lines of smaller dots; hanging beneath are successive roller-die swags, and three equidistant pierced and bright cut oval-shaped flowers; drawn, stepped fused silverplate on copper bands is applied around the outside of the gallery rim and base.

B:
Bottle made of mold blown glass with ground down lip and pontil mark.

C:
Bottle made of mold blown glass with ground down lip and pontil mark.

D:
Cap formed from a sheet of fused, double-plated silver on copper; the round top features a punched hole; the top is set into a lip of fused silver plate finished with bands of drawn, stepped fused silverplate applied around the top lip.

E:
Cap formed from a sheet of fused, double-plated silver on copper; the round top features a punched hole; the top is set into a lip of fused silver plate finished with bands of drawn, stepped fused silverplate applied around the top lip.

Date

c. 1785


Geography


Material/Technique

A: Fused silverplate on copper B:Glass C: Glass D: Fused silverplate on copper E: Fused silverplate on copper


Dimensions

Overall (A): 1 in. x 7 1/2 in. x 2 15/16 in. (2.54 cm x 19.05 cm x 7.46 cm)
Overall (B): 1 1/2 in. x 1 9/16 in. x 1 9/16 in. (3.81 cm x 3.97 cm x 3.97 cm)
Overall (C): 1 1/2 in. x 1 9/16 in. x 1 9/16 in. (3.81 cm x 3.97 cm x 3.97 cm)
Overall (D): 5/16 in. x 1 3/4 in. x 1 3/4 in. (0.79 cm x 4.45 cm x 4.45 cm)
Overall (E): 5/16 in. x 1 3/4 in. x 1 3/4 in. (0.79 cm x 4.45 cm x 4.45 cm)


Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Lyttleton B. P. Gould, Jr., M. Chapin Krech, Dr. Shepard Krech, Alvin W. Krech, Peter Chapin, Charles Chapin, and Mrs. Charles Merrill Chapin III, in memory of Esther Maria Lewis Chapin, 1986


Object Number

W-2974/A-E


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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