Trowel in box
Silver, ivory; leather, velvet, silk
Box: 1 5/8 x 13 3/8 x 4 1/2 in. ( 4.1 x 34 x 11.4 cm ) Overall (trowel): 12 1/2 x 4 3/8 x 1 3/8 in. (31.8 x 11.1 x 3.
engraved: on the blade: "PRESENTED TO/ Hon. A. Oakey HAll./ AT THE/ LAYING OF THE CORNER STONE/ OF THE MT. SINAI HOSPITAL/ BY THE DIRECTORS,/ Benjamin Nathan, President/ Emanuel B. Hail, Vice President/ Louis May, Treasurer/ Samuel A. Lewis, Hon, Secrt
Cast silver and ivory trowel with a turned ivory handle, a tapered cylindrical handle socket, and a curved stem with a diamond-shaped joint; diamond shaped blade engraved, "PRESENTED TO/ Hon. A. Oakey HAll./ AT THE/ LAYING OF THE CORNER STONE/ OF THE MT. SINAI HOSPITAL/ BY THE DIRECTORS,/ Benjamin Nathan, President/ Emanuel B. Hail, Vice President/ Louis May, Treasurer/ Samuel A. Lewis, Hon, Secrtary./ John M Lawrence, Harris Aronson, Henry Gittesman,/ Lewis Fatman, S. Sommesick, J.L. Abecasis,/ A. S. Rosenbaum, Max Stadler./ NEW YORK, MAY 25, 1870." in script, gothic script and roman letters; underside of the blade engraved in Hebrew; maker's marks stamped on the underside of the blade. Long, brown, oval case with a slightly domed lid and metal hook and eye closures lined with blue velvet on the base and blue silk in the lid.
On May 25, 1870, a distinguished group of New Yorkers gathered to lay the cornerstone of Mount Sinai Hospital on Lexington Avenue between Sixty-sixth and Sixty-seventh Streets. The cornerstone laying was a momentous ceremony that included the placement of a tin box containing New York newspapers, American and Jewish coins and currency, and official hospital documents into the new hospital's cornerstone. Following placement of the box, this silver trowel, engraved with the Hebrew translation of "House of the Sick," was presented to New York City Mayor A. Oakey Hall by the president of the hospital's board of directors, Benjamin Nathan.
Gift of Miss Katherine M. Harvey
Abraham Oakey Hall (1826-1898), who married (1st) Katherine Louise Barnes (1823-1897); to their son Herbert Oakey Hall (1862-1944), who married Marie Jeanette Harvey (1873-1958); bequeathed by Mrs. Marie Harvey Hall to her niece Katherine Medary Harvey (1888-1963), the donor.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.