Presentation Vase

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Description
This elegant silver vase was presented to Willard A. Smith, Chief of the Department of Transportation exhibits at the World’s Colombian Exposition in 1893. The Exposition was held in Chicago to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s “discovery” of America. The Exposition was a great success as a world’s fair, and demonstrated to the international community that Chicago had recovered from the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
Presenting silver objects has always been a means of expressing gratitude and acknowledging deeds and accomplishments in American culture. It took Tiffany & Co. six months to construct this costly Art Nouveau style vase. Its decoration takes the form of the Transportation Building. The distinct semi-circular arches are the work of architect James Sullivan, who designed the building that housed the Department of Transportation exhibits. Medallions circling the vase celebrate the progress in the modes of land and water transportation, while representations of the Department of Transportation exhibitions adorn the vase as well.
Location
Currently not on view
Date made
1894
user
Smith, Willard A.
maker
Tiffany & Co.
Place Made
United States: New York, New York
Physical Description
silver (overall material)
wood (base material)
cast (overall production technique)
hammered (makers mark production technique)
Measurements
overall: 61 cm x 30 cm x 30 cm; 24 in x 11 13/16 in x 11 13/16 in
overall: 1 in x 6 1/4 in x 1 3/4 in; 2.54 cm x 15.875 cm x 4.445 cm
ID Number
DL.63.821
catalog number
63.821
63.281
accession number
245502
Credit Line
Gift of Willard A. Smith
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
Artifact Walls exhibit
Art
Transportation
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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