DescriptionA Tiffany & Co. Partial Gilt Silver Punch Bowl and Ladle Driving Trophy, New York, 1881
Design attributed to Charles Osborn
Marks to bowl: TIFFANY & CO., 6542 MAKERS 11730, STERLING SILVER, 925-1000, M;
Marks to ladle: TIFFANY & CO., 477 M 11730, STERLING SILVER
13 x 24 x 18-1/4 inches (33.0 x 61.0 x 46.4 cm) (bowl)
18 inches (45.7 cm) (ladle, length)
323.38 troy ounces
Inscription: PRESENTED TO MR. ALEXANDER TAYLOR JR. / BY HIS FRIENDS OF THE / GENTLEMEN'S DRIVING ASSOCIATION / 1881
American Presentation and Trophy Silver from the Collection of J.D. Parks
Mr. Alexander Taylor, Jr, by descent and sold;
Sotheby's, New York, January 16-19, 2003, lot 424;
Sotheby's, New York, January 22, 2010, lot 390;
Nelson & Nelson Antiques, New York;
Acquired from above.
Accompanied by Tiffany Archive's research dated October 2020, the bowl with spot-hammered body, acid etched portrait of Taylor within horseshoe cartouche flanked by engraved images of trotters pulling sulky, inscription to reverse, grapevine rim from which dramatically emerge pairs of horse heads mimicking the sport, double-domed base with applied alternating horseshoe and grape vine pattern, on sculling feet, gilt interior engraved with grapevine motif at rim. Ladle with horseshoe design at terminal end, handle of foliate ground with applied grapevine motif, bowl with spiraling chased repoussé design against spot-hammered ground.
The trophy appears in Tiffany & Co.'s manufacturing ledger as Punch Bowl Gentlemans road wagon race, 317.25 ounces of silver with a manufacturing cost of $710, and the ladle bearing the same order number 11730 is in the Spoonwork Ledger identified as Punch Ladle, 10.40 ounces of silver with a manufacturing cost of $105.
Alexander Taylor, Jr. led the family's Wall Street merchant banking firm following his father's death. The firm, Alexander Taylor's Sons, had far reaching interests in railroads, mining, international exchange, and investments. He was also very active in the community with memberships in over 20 clubs, including New York Yacht Club, and owned several steamers including Diana, North Star, and Skylark.
Taylor was particularly interested in "gentlemanly" sports, promoting organizations devoted to those pursuits. In 1881, with the help of friends, he restored the racecourse at Fleetwood Park and formed the Gentleman's Driving Park Association, composed of men who own trotting horses. In September of that year, a dinner was given in Taylor's honor by members where he was presented with this punch bowl.
"The bowl is a magnificent work of art. It is made of hammered silver, the inside being gilt. Some idea of its enormous size may be formed from the fact that the contents of three and-a-half cases of champagne only make it about three-quarters full. The outside is handsomely embossed and carved with horses' heads and representations of Vanderbilt and other gentleman drivers tooling their teams along the road. There is also a good likeness of Mr. Taylor himself engraved on it and underneath [sic] a suitable inscription". The Hour, 12 November 1881
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