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Author Topic:   U. S. Capitol on silver
Ulysses Dietz
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iconnumber posted 01-24-2008 11:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am not in my office, and can't YET get an image...but will do soon.

Has anyone heard of silver engraved with an image of the U. S. Capitol in Washington? The Newark Museum has just been given a mammoth Whiting silver tray with an 1873 inscription to a NJ congressman and an image of the Capital building beautifully rendered in perspective. The tray relates to an entire service given in 1873 to Congressman George Halsey of Newark, so that is one important thing for us--but the image of the Capitol is the only one I've ever seen. I'm afraid the pictures, when I can get them online, are very tarnished, and not very good, but it will give an idea.

[This message has been edited by Ulysses Dietz (edited 01-24-2008).]

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Ulysses Dietz
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iconnumber posted 01-25-2008 10:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sorry about the tarnish. This tray--37" across--was used for 25 years as a cocktail tray in a grand private library. Hasn't yet been polished.



Here is the image of the engraved Capitol building.

Any comparables that anyone can find? The Museum owns a covered punchbowl, a coffee pot and a tea urn that match this. Apparently there must have been a tea set that went to a different branch of the family.


I re-sized the images to 640 pixels wide @ 72 dpi.

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Ulysses Dietz
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iconnumber posted 01-25-2008 10:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is the matching tea urn.

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Ulysses Dietz
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iconnumber posted 05-17-2008 12:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gee, no one wants to play?

Since this is officially the Museum's now, I guess I can have it polished. I tried to track down the exact engraving from which this engraved decoration was taken, but haven't been able to be sure. As awesome as the Capitol is now, imagine what it must have meant in 1873, when it was still the largest building in North America...

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bascall

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iconnumber posted 05-17-2008 08:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The capitol looks as though it was photo etched. Is that posssible?

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Ulysses Dietz
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iconnumber posted 05-18-2008 10:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's just my lousy photography. I'm pretty sure it's engraved--bright sharp lines. Also, whas photo etching around that early? I nkow it's commonplace by the 1890s, but when does it actually first appear?

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Scott Martin
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iconnumber posted 05-18-2008 12:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'd look at old lithographs and wood engravings..

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Ulysses Dietz
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iconnumber posted 05-26-2008 07:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Those are the most famous images--one long before it was completed (the capitol remained unfinished through most of the Civil War, as a constant reminder to Lincoln of his broken Union...); but I believe it was finished by the time Lincoln was assassinated...Walter was the architect, and I suspect that 1856 image was the magical "this is what it will look like when it's all done" image. The image on the Museum's tray is swiveled slightly more toward the viewer--the closer wing is nearer and hence looms larger.

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ellabee

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iconnumber posted 05-27-2008 11:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ellabee     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ulysses: I believe it was finished by the time Lincoln was assassinated

I think that's right. Last night on C-SPAN there was a documentary about the Capitol that noted that the worker who cast the figure of Freedom for the finial of the dome was a slave when he did the casting, and was free by the time it was set in place.

[This message has been edited by ellabee (edited 02-11-2009).]

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bascall

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iconnumber posted 02-11-2009 10:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Apparently, Halsey served as chairman of the Committee on Public Buildings and Grounds from 1871 to 1873 which might explain a presentation that included an illustration of the most important public building.

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Ulysses Dietz
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iconnumber posted 02-13-2009 10:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ulysses Dietz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That last comment is brilliant--and sheds a light on the reason for the whole thing. Many thanks.

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bascall

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iconnumber posted 02-13-2009 08:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bascall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Your are welcome. It just struck me that there ought to be a reasonable explanation for the use of the U S Capitol building on a set of holloware, and once I started looking the answer was easily found in multiple sources.

[This message has been edited by bascall (edited 02-13-2009).]

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