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Tray

Object Number: 
1932.87a
Date: 
1853
Medium: 
Silver
Dimensions: 
Overall: 18 3/4 x 2 1/4 x 30 1/8 in. (47.6 x 5.7 x 76.5 cm) Silver Weight: 130 oz (troy) 7.4 dwt (4055 g)
Marks: 
Inscription: engraved with rococo revival border of reserves of scrolls, foliage, flowers, and allegorical scenes based on mythology, eagle, fire engine, fire pumper, and shipping and fire fighting implements around periphery. Center has engraved inscrip
Description: 
Cast and seamed silver tea tray; oval in plan with an applied, molded edge scalloped along the interior side; cast, applied scroll and pendent rim; two cast c-scroll handles applied at the short sides; allover scroll and floral engraving on the interior around the engraved tribute in the center, "PRESENTED BY THE/ FIREMAN OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK/ TO/ Zophar Mills/ As a tribute of respect for the faithful/ and energetic discharged of his duties/ as a member and officer of the/ Fire Department/ Aug.t 8th, 1853" in script, gothic script and roman letters; engraved eagle above the tribute, vignettes of Classical deities on either side of the tribute, and three engravings of fire equipment below; four cast scroll feet applied to the base; maker's marks on the base.
Gallery Label: 
This tray is part of a tea and coffee service presented to Zophar Mills upon his retirement as President of the New York City Fire Department. Mills was a celebrated firefighter whose company was credited with halting the Great Fire of 1835 at Wall Street, preventing destruction of the northern part of the city. Most of the pieces in this service appear to be off-the-shelf forms, personalized with Mills's engraved initials. The tray, however, is engraved with vignettes and allegorical scenes that relate to Mills's career and achievements.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Dr. Adelaide Mills
Provenance: 
Zophar Mills (1809-1887), who married Eliza Phillips (ca. 1815-1902); to their daughter Dr. Adelaide Mills (b. 1852), the donor.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group