Presentation sword

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40 630
Title:
Presentation sword
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 )
Classification: 
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.
Date End: 
1 886
Credit Line: 
Gift of Miss Harriet MacMartin Richards and Mrs. Marjorie R. Reynolds
Object Number: 
1942.277
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.
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.
Date Begin: 
1886
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group