Presentation vase in silver honoring Daniel Webster
- Presentation vase in silver honoring Daniel Webster
- Title (alt.):
To Daniel Webster, Defender of the Constitution of the United States. From Citizens of Boston October 12th 1835
- Title (uniform):
Silver vase presented by the citizens of Boston to their U.S. senator, Daniel Webster. The design is based on that of the Roman marble Warwick Vase, excavated from emperor Hadrian's villa in 1771, and a popular prototype for metalsmiths in the United States and England. On the Webster Vase, the silversmith omitted the heads of Bacchus from the vase's shoulder, emphasizing instead finely chased lion skins and naturalistic applied grape clusters, a motif repeated above with grape leaves and vine tendrils growing from the entwined double handles which wrap around the shoulder of the vase beneath a gadrooned lip. The underside of the vase is adorned with deep repoussé acanthus leaves above a fluted base with laurel design around the foot. The square plinth is engraved on the front "To Daniel Webster, Defender of the Constitution of the United States / From Citizens of Boston October 12th 1835."
- Rich, Obadiah, 1809-1888
- Webster, Daniel, 1782-1852
- Former owner:
- Webster, Daniel, 1782-1852
- Brimmer, George W.
- Jellison, Zachariah
- Gray, Francis Calley, 1790-1856
- Lyman, Geo. W. (George W.)
- Ward, Samuel L.
- Ward & Rich
- Jones, Lows & Ball
Boston Public Library
Rare Books Department
- Collection (local):
Special Collections, Rare Books
Massachusetts > Suffolk (county) > Boston
- 1 vase : coin silver ; overall 39 x 53 cm (15 1/2 inches high by 21 inches wide)
No known copyright restrictions.
No known restrictions on use.
Access to physical copy/copies by appointment only. Please contact Boston Public Library Rare Books and Manuscripts Department for further information.
- Place of origin:
Title devised by cataloger.
Name of maker from Fales. Obadiah Rich, possibly in partnership with Samuel L. Ward, executed silver for Jones, Lows & Ball in the 1830s often without his own maker's mark appearing on the finished piece. According to Fales, an inscription "Made by Ward & Rich, Boston, 1835" is present on the underside of this vase but is covered by a metal flange and is only visible upon disassembly. Rich's original maker's mark may have been stamped on the vase in 1835 but was covered over in the course of later repairs.
- Notes (ownership):
PROVENANCE: Although made in the workshop of Jones, Lows and Ball, and placed on public view in their shop for several days after completion, the vase was made by Obadiah Rich who crafted a number of unsigned works for the retail firm of Jones. This work had been commisioned from Jones, Lows & Ball by a committee of prominent Bostonians headed by George W. Brimmer, and after his death by Zachariah Jellison. At Boston's Odeon hall on October 12th 1835, the Hon. Francis C. Gray presented the vase to Webster on behalf of the subscribers, before an overflow crowd of three to four thousand spectators. The gift was a demonstration of gratitude for Webster's vigorous defense of the Constitution and national unity during the Nullification debates. Following Webster's death in 1852, the vase was purchased from his heirs by a group of thirty-nine Bostonians headed by George W. Lyman, who presented it to the Boston Public Library on March 10,1865.
- Notes (object):
Maker's marks stamped on left side of base: JONES, LOWS, & BALL / Boston / Pure Silver Coin / 1835.
- Notes (bibliography):
Bibliography: Joy, Catherine Lanford. Silver and Silverplate in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Boston: Obadiah Rich, Newell Harding and Roswell Gleason. Dissertation, PhD History of Art: Yale University, 2019 ; Fales, Martha Gandy, "Obadiah Rich, Boston Silversmith," Antiques 94 (Oct. 1968): 565-69 ; Boston Public Library. Annual Report, 14th, (1866): 68-70 ; BPL MS. Am. 416. Boston. Citizens. Presentation of Webster Vase to City of Boston for deposit. Boston, 1865.
- Call #:
RARE BKS Webster Vase