HOME VIEW BY SUBJECT VIEW BY ARTIST ITEMS OF INTEREST CURRENT EXHIBITION CONTACT
HISTORY CATALOGUES
The Green Tree: Highlights from the Collection of the Mutual Assurance Company of Philadelphia - April 2007
 
 
painting
 
Unknown Maker
(American, probably Philadelphia)
Centerpiece Bowl, c. 1819
Silver, 5 inches high, 14 1/2 inches wide
Engraved inscription on bottom: “Robert Wharton Esq./Mayor of the City of Philadelphia/For eminent service rendered/his fellow Citizens during the fire on/the 9th of March 1819/Respectfully presented by/his fellow Citizen/M. H. Messchert”
RS 6384


This centerpiece bowl is in round basin form with repoussé leaf band and acanthus-molded handles is supported by three acanthus-and-paw feet. Robert Wharton (1757–1834) was a wealthy merchant who served fourteen one-year terms as mayor of Philadelphia between 1798 and 1824. He was elected a trustee of the Mutual Assurance Company in 1792, and served as its fourth president from 1813 to 1834.

This bowl was presented to Wharton by the Philadelphia merchant Matthew Huizinga Messchert in recognition of his services to the city during a fire on the night of March 9, 1819, that completely destroyed Masonic Hall on Chestnut Street. This spectacular fire was the subject of a well-known aquatint engraving by John Hill (1770–1850) after a design by John Lewis Krimmel (1786–1821) and Samuel Jones (dates unknown) that was published in 1819 by Samuel Kennedy and Samuel West. The engraving was dedicated to “the active and much esteemed Fire Engine & Hose Companies” of Philadelphia.


  


Copyright©2007 The Schwarz Gallery

The Schwarz gallery is not responsible for any errors or omissions contained in this web site.