$10 Museum Admission

As part of our Summer of Hamilton celebration, enjoy $10 Museum Admission now until Labor Day. Offer good for in-person ticket purchases, not available online. This offer may not be combined with other discounts.

Presentation sword

Object Number: 
1942.277
Date: 
1886
Medium: 
Silver, copper
Dimensions: 
Overall: 13 5/8 x 2 7/8 x 2 3/4 in. ( 34.6 x 7.3 x 7 cm )
Marks: 
engraved: on one side of the blade: "PRESENTED BY THE/ Tennis Building Association/ OF NEW YORK FEB. 22D 1886./ FIRST PRIZE FOR DOUBLES/ WON BY/ H. M. Slocum Jr. & George Richards." in gothic script and roman letters engraved: on the opposite side of th
Description: 
Cast and wrought silver presentation sword trophy; tapered ovoid handle with a tapered surface; oval copper hilt, with an oval hole cut to the right of the blade,decorated with patinated silver and copper birds on a branch on a river bank; flat, hammered blade with a pointed, snub-nosed blade; blade engraved on one side, "PRESENTED BY THE/ Tennis Building Association/ OF NEW YORK FEB. 22D 1886./ FIRST PRIZE FOR DOUBLES/ WON BY/ H. M. Slocum Jr. & George Richards." in gothic script and roman letters; engraved on the opposite side of the blade, "GR" in foliate script; "STERLING" stamped above the hilt.
Gallery Label: 
This sword was presented to tennis doubles champion George Richards (1849-1930) in 1886 to commemorate his victory, with Henry W. Slocum, Jr. (1862-1949), in a tournament sponsored by the Tennis Building Association. This curious trophy resembles a small Japanese sword or kodachi. It is composed of a hammered silver blade and handle with a genuine Japanese sword guard or tsuba in mixed metals. Both the form of the trophy and the tsuba itself reveal the fad for Japanese-inspired decorative arts that took hold in the United States in the 1870s and 1880s. The silver manufacturing firm Dominick and Haff produced accomplished silver in the Japanese taste. The trophy was likely a special order, as no similar examples by Dominick and Haff are known.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Miss Harriet MacMartin Richards and Mrs. Marjorie R. Reynolds
Provenance: 
George Richards (1849-1930), who married Harriet M. MacMartin (1860-1939); his daughters, Harriet MacMartin Richards (b. 1884) and Marjorie Richards Reynolds (1885-1943), the donors.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group