Museum Closure

The New-York Historical Society will close at 3pm on November 26 and remain closed through November 27. For details, please visit our calendar.

Napkin

Napkin
Title
Napkin
Medium 
Linen
Description 
White jacquard woven linen damask napkin from the dining room of the Fifth Avenue Hotel; central medallion with woven inscription FIFTH AVENUE HOTEL; bottom edge with woven inscription BROWN'S INSIGNIA DAMASK.
Credit Line 
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Peter L. Malkin
Object Number 
2005.10.2
Marks 
woven inscriptions: "FIFTH AVENUE HOTEL" and "BROWN'S INSIGNIA DAMASK"
Gallery Label 
This damask napkin was used in the dining room of the Fifth Avenue Hotel, which was located on Fifth Avenue between 23rd and 24th Streets, opposite Madison Square. Opened in 1858, the elegant six-story hotel enjoyed a reputation for luxurious accommodations and was the first hotel in the city with elevators. It could accommodate 800 guests, and a staff of 400 provided some of the best service in the city. The hotel once served as the headquarters of the State Republican Party. A corridor off the hotel lobby, where Republican boss Thomas C. Platt met petitioners seeking favors, became known as the "amen corner." By the turn of the century fashionable neighborhoods had moved north, and in 1908 the Fifth Avenue Hotel was closed and demolished. The napkin is a reminder of the luxury of the Fifth Avenue Hotel, which is represented in the museum collection by a lone Civil War-era token issued by the hotel.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group