Silver Presentation Tureen for Rescuing Ship ASIA of Philadelphia, 1811

In 1807, the ship ASIA of Philadelphia was sailing from its homeport to Canton, China bearing a valuable cargo of “specie and goods.” It ran into trouble at the Bocca Tigris strait by the mouth of the Pearl River, en route to Whampoa where the foreign ships trading with Canton anchored. Captain Philip Maughan of the East India Company’s brigantine ANTELOPE assisted in the rescue of the ASIA, which was insured for a very large amount by eleven different insurance companies. The Insurance Company of North America (INA) alone covered $35,000 of the ASIA’s coverage.
In appreciation, the insurers voted in 1809 to purchase a set of fancy silver and present it to Captain Maughan for his role in the ASIA’s rescue, which they did in 1811. In 1942, an inscribed and ornately decorated silver soup tureen from the Maughan silver turned up at a London antique shop, where it was purchased by INA and returned to the firm’s Philadelphia headquarters for display among its company’s historic collections.
In 2005, the CIGNA Corporation, successor to the INA, donated its historic collections, including this piece, to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
ca 1811
Physical Description
silver (overall material)
overall: 13 in x 15 in x 12 in; 33.02 cm x 38.1 cm x 30.48 cm
diameter without handles: 11 in; x 27.94 cm
tureen: 7 3/4 in; 19.685 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
collector/donor number
Domestic Furnishings
Maritime Objects
See more items in
Work and Industry: Maritime
Maritime Objects
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection
Additional Media

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