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Waste bowl

Object Number: 
Overall: 5 3/4 x 6 in. (14.6 x 15.2 cm) Silver Weight: 14 oz (troy) -0.3 dwt (435 g)
Mark: stamped on base: "J. H. JOHNSTON/ STERLING" Inscription: engraved at front cartouche: "Z M"
Wrought Victorian rococo silver waste bowl with lid; six-sided inverted pear-shaped body on a molded six-sided scalloped foot; upper body flares slightly, to a scalloped rim with cast-applied c-scrolls and six decorative cast pendants at each drop; chased and repousséd floral, scroll and acanthus decoration divides the six sides and runs along the first curve of the lower body; engraved cartouches in each section are filled with diamond patterns on the sides, a blank reserve on the back, and a reserve with the initials, "Z M" in gothic script on the front; foot decorated with chased and repousséd floral and scroll decoration; maker's marks on the base.
Gallery Label: 
This waste bowl is part of a tea and coffee service presented to Zophar Mills upon his retirement as President of the New York City Fire Department. Mills was a celebrated firefighter whose company was credited with halting the Great Fire of 1835 at Wall Street, preventing destruction of the northern part of the city. Most of the pieces in this service appear to be off-the-shelf forms, personalized with Mills's engraved initials. The tray, however, is engraved with vignettes and allegorical scenes that relate to Mills's career and achievements.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Dr. Adelaide Mills
Zophar Mills (1809-1887), who married Eliza Phillips (ca. 1815-1902); to their daughter Dr. Adelaide Mills (b. 1852), the donor.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group