Drinking punch in the eighteenth-century was a convivial social occasion with a distinct equipage. After mixing together spirits, citrus juice, and sugar, nutmeg was added to enhance the flavor. This sleek silver urn, which opens to reveal a compartment and grater for storing and serving nutmeg, allowed its user to season their punch in style. Occasionally, these portable articles were given as gifts and tokens of affection. The Washingtons would have used a similar article when preparing a bowl of punch to welcome visitors that arrived at Mount Vernon before the usual meals of dinner and tea. More





Silver, steel


Overall (open): 2 7/8 in. x 1 1/8 in. x 3 in. (7.32 cm x 2.87 cm x 7.62 cm)
Other (closed): 3 1/8 in. x 1 1/4 in. x 1 5/16 in. (7.95 cm x 3.18 cm x 3.33 cm)


Gift of Mr. and Mrs. James Calvert Smith, 1937
Conservation courtesy of the Life Guard Society of Historic Mount Vernon

Object Number



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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