Barge of Venus

Barge of Venus

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Usage conditions apply
Partial-gilt, figural centerpiece with a rectangular base on six bracket feet that is ornamented with an oval plateau, its mirrored surface imitating water upon which two swans, driven by Cupid, pull a seashell barge or boat. Six cattails rise up out of the water alongside the barge, and four winged putti sit on the corners of the base and play music, each with a different instrument. A die-rolled band of scrolling ivy vines encircles the plateau. Chased bellflower designs adorn the base and feet. Elements are individually cast and screwed into the base. Underside of base is struck incuse near center "MIDDLETOWN PLATE C\o.", "TRIPLE PLATE" and "979".
Maker is Middletown Plate Co. of Middletown, CT. Middletown Plate Co. was founded in 1864 and became a subsidiary of International Silver Co. in 1898; International continued to use the Middletown name and mark until at least 1921.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
place made
United States: Connecticut, Middletown
Physical Description
electroplated (overall production method/technique)
silver plate (overall material)
gold (gilded areas material)
overall: 17 3/4 in x 21 in x 11 5/8 in; 45.085 cm x 53.34 cm x 29.5275 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Domestic Life
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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