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Inscription

stamped on the underside, in a rectangle, first "W" in superscript: ANDW .E. WARNER; stamped after the rectangle, "T" in superscript: BALT; stamped after the city abbreviation, three pseudo hallmarks; engraved on top of the pedestal: The citizens of Baltimore to Commodore Stephen Decatur / Rebus gestis insigni: Ob virtutes dilecto [Renowned for his valor, beloved for his virtues]; engraved on underside of the pedestal: Presented by / William Swaim, / To / Mrs. E. Swaim, / And by her, to her daughter, / Mrs. Oliver Hopkinson

Provenance

Commissioned for Stephen Decatur, Jr. [1779-1820], Washington, D.C.;[1] his widow, Susan Wheeler Decatur [1776-1860], Washington, D.C.; sold, possibly in the 1830s or 1840 to William Swaim [1781-1846], Philadelphia;[2] gift to his wife, Elizabeth Wilson Swaim [1792-1866], Philadelphia; gift c. 1847 to her daughter, Eliza Swaim Hopkinson [1826-1911, Mrs. Oliver Hopkinson], Philadelphia; by descent in the Hopkinson family; gift 2018 to NGA.

Exhibition History
1817
[Exhibition prior to presentation to Decatur], Mr. F. Lucas, Baltimore, 1817.[1]
1917
Exhibition of Old American and English Silver, Pennsylvania Museum at Memorial Hall, Philadelphia, 1917, no. 202, repro.
1993
Classical Taste in America, 1800-1840, Baltimore Museum of Art; Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1993-1994, no. 197, repro.
Exhibition History Notes

[1] The complete silver service of twelve pieces was exhibited "for the gratification of the citizens [of Baltimore] for a few days." Mr. Lucas's establishment was at 138 Market Street. A notice about the display was in the Federal Gazette and Baltimore Daily Advertiser of 5 September 1817; see David B. Warren, Katherine S. Howe, and Michael K. Brown, Marks of Achievement: Four Centuries of American Presentation Silver, Exh. cat. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, New York, 1987: 109, 190 n. 99.

Bibliography
1980
Cooper, Wendy A. In Praise of America. Exh. cat. National Gallery of Art, Washington. New York, 1980: 100-101 fig. 132, 107 (not in the exhibition).
1983
Brown, Joan Sayers. "Silver and Gold Owned by Stephen Decatur Jr." Antiques 123, no. 2 (February 1983): 400, 402 fig. 7.
1987
Warren, David B., Katherine S. Howe, and Michael K. Brown. Marks of Achievement: Four Centuries of American Presentation Silver. Exh. cat. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. New York, 1987: 109-110, 190 nn. 99, 100 (not in the exhibition).
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