Open Memorial Day

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Ewer

Object Number: 
1941.753b
Date: 
1833
Medium: 
Silver
Dimensions: 
each overall: 17 1/8 x 9 5/8 x 6 3/4 in. ( 43.5 x 24.4 x 17.1 cm ) Silver Weight: 51 oz (troy) 4 dwt (1593 g)
Marks: 
"B. GARDINER" and "NEW YORK" in arched serrated surrounds struck on underside.
Description: 
Wrought and cast silver presentation ewer; urn-shaped bodies with repoussé chased foliate and shell decoration around the lower third of the bodies; the front of each body is decorated with a repoussé chased shell boat pulled by two dolphin-serpents, with navigational equipment inside and a flag with thirteen stars flown from a triton off the back; bodies engraved, "THE/ Citizens of Brooklyn/ to/ Com. Isaac Chauncey,/ U. S. N." in script; each body seated on a circular, stepped and domed pedestal with chased foliate knop and a chased intertwined and foliate band around the foot; incurved necks applied to the body with a die rolled egg and dart band; necks repoussé chased with crossed cannon and flags surmounted by an American bald eagle and draped with a banner engraved, "1833;" neck flares to a high, broad poring lip and low rim with an applied beaded band; cast, loop handles with acanthus grips and acanthus decoration applied to the back of the rims and high on the bodies; maker's marks stamped on the bases.
Gallery Label: 
When Commodore Isaac Chauncey (1772-1840) resigned as commandant of the Brooklyn Navy Yard in June 1833 to assume the post of Navy commissioner in Washington, D.C., his fellow citizens in Brooklyn commissioned a pair of monumental ewers as a farewell gift and token of appreciation for his years of distinguished service. The Brooklyn committee responsible for securing the presentation plate turned to one of New York City's leading silver retailers of the period, Baldwin Gardiner. Gardiner's ewers combine antique form and decoration with distinctively American iconography. Decorating the neck of each vessel is an American eagle, symbol of liberty and freedom, holding a banner in its beak and perching atop flags and military equipment. A chariot of the Roman sea god Neptune, flying the American flag, ornaments the center of each vessel. The mythological and patriotic imagery pays tribute to the commodore's illustrious naval career and alludes to national prosperity and military prowess.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Clarence Mary Chauncey
Provenance: 
Isaac Chauncey (1772-1840), who married Catherine Sickles (1779-1855); to Peter Schermerhorn Chauncey (1810-1866), who married Mary Renshaw (b. ca. 1820); to their son Henry Stone Chauncey (1853-1894), who married Clara Macy (1862-1884); to their son Clarence Macy Chauncey (1884-1965), the donor.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group