Trays, set of 3
Largest (tray): 18 7/8 x 1 3/8 in. (47.9 x 3.5 cm)
Inscriptions: engraved at centers: "SA" in script, below the Arden family arms, five ostrich feathers; borders engraved with wheel-turned edging, waves, wheel-turned punches, and three rows of bright-cut engraved scales with floral and foliate in-fills tr
Set of three wrought silver trays; flat, chamfered, rectangular bases with raised, convex sides and applied, cast reeded bands around the rims; two cast corkscrew handles with curved grips are applied to each on opposite ends of the trays; sides are outlined with wheel turned decoration; three bands of punched and engraved semi-circles with foliate motifs in their centers are around the edges of the trays; "SA" engraved in script in the centers, below the Arden family arms, five ostrich feathers; makers' marks stamped on the bases.
This set of trays belonged to Susan Arden (1766-1849), the daughter of New York merchant Thomas Arden (1721-1798. The set is boldly engraved with Arden's initials and family crest. With their oversized monogram, the trays conveyed a strong statement of power and wealth, particularly for a woman of the period (and, not inconsequentially, one who was unmarried). This sumptuous set of three trays, in graduated sizes, required more than 283 ounces of silver.
Bequest of John B. Morris, Jr.
Susan Arden (1766-1849); probably bequeathed to her niece, Mary Elizabeth Babcock (1808-1851), who married William Lewis Morris (1805-1864); to their son John Babcock Morris (b. 1839), who married Mary E. Faitoute (b. 1845); to their son, John Babcock Morris, Jr. (1881-1957), the donor.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.