Dinner service (381 pc.)

Object Number: 
1936.13-393
Date: 
1855
Description: 
Hollowware decorated with repoussé-chased flowers and foliage includes large salver; 6 dish covers; 2 soup tureens; 5 vegetable dishes; fruit bowl; 2 sauceboats; 4 saltcellars; coffeepot; tea kettle; sugar bowl; creamer; 2 bonbon dishes. Knot-pattern flatware includes 2 serving forks; 6 serving spoons; 2 soup ladles; 2 fish serving forks; 2 fish slices; 4 asparagus tongs; 2 cheese scoops; 4 butter serving knives; 2 butter knives; 2 sifter ladles; 2 mustard spoons; 2 berry spoons; ice tongs; 34 table forks; 35 dessert forks; 26 table knives; 35 dessert knives; 36 tablespoons; 69 teaspoons; 36 dessert spoons; 5 coffee spoons; and 35 nut picks. INSCRIPTION: "PRESENTED BY THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND MERCHANTS OF / New York / TO COMMODORE / Matthew Calbraith Perry / in acknowledgement of the signal services which / he has rendered / to AMERICA and to the WORLD, by / his able and successful negotiation of the TREATY with JAPAN" and Perry family crest engraved on face of salver. "Presented to Commodore / Matthew Calbraith Perry / by the Chamber of Commerce and / Merchants of New York" and Perry family crest engraved on hollowware. "M. C. P." and Perry family crest engraved on obverse or reverse of selected flatware handle-ends.
Gallery Label: 
On December 28, 1855, the Chamber of Commerce and Merchants of New York presented Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry with a 381-piece silver coffee, tea, and dinner service in acknowledgement of his successful negotiation of a treaty with Japan in 1854. In the letter of presentation the committee remarked, "To have brought this secluded Empire, into the intercourse of nations; is an achievement which may justly be ranked, among the greatest events of the age..." The service was manufactured by William Gale, one of New York City's foremost silversmiths, and cost over $6,000 to make.
Credit Line: 
Gift of the Honorable Perry Belmont
Provenance: 
Presented to Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry (1794-1858), who married Jane Slidell (1797-1879); to their son-in-law August Belmont (1813-1890), who married Caroline Perry (1829-1892); to their son the Honorable Perry Belmont (1851-1947), the donor.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group