Plate

Object Number: 
1961.119
Date: 
1820-1840
Medium: 
Earthenware
Dimensions: 
Overall: 3/4 x 8 7/8 in. ( 1.9 x 22.5 cm )
Marks: 
printed: in blue on underside of plate: "CITY HOTEL NEW YORK/R.S.W." in banner with flowers printed: on adhesive label on underside of plate: "61" [collector's label] printed: newspaper article affixed to back of plate: "One Hundred Years Ago/in the New
Description: 
Molded pearlware plate with dark blue transfer print; rim printed with oak leaves, acorns, and stippled background; center of plate printed with street scene including view of the City Hotel.
Gallery Label: 
This plate is printed with a view of the nation’s first luxury hotel, the City Hotel (built 1794, demolished 1849), located at 115 Broadway in New York City. By the 1820s the downtown commercial district was well on its way to becoming a separate male preserve—virtually empty of respectable families, and scrupulously avoided by respectable women except for shopping expeditions to lower Broadway or visits to the Ladies’ Dining Room of the City Hotel. Hotel dining rooms were a progressive public venue for ladies, who generally were not welcome in restaurants, particularly unescorted, until the late nineteenth century. Contemporary writers emphasized the egalitarian nature of the hotel tables. As writer Eliza Leslie observed, “Nobody ‘sits below the salt.’ And every one has an equal chance of obtaining a share of the nicest articles on the table.” The ladies' dining room of the City Hotel also offered a venue for young women to learn the latest dance steps or watch concerts by foreign artists. By the early twentieth century hotelkeepers still barred unaccompanied women in certain dining rooms causing militant suffragettes to protest the inequality.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Dr. Arthur H. Merritt
Provenance: 
The Dr. Arthur H. Merritt Collection of Anglo-American Historical Staffordshire
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group