Tiffany and Company / Presentation Tray / 1884Tiffany and Company
Presentation Tray

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Creator Name: Tiffany & Company
Creator Nationality: North American; American
Creator Role: Manufacturer
Creator Dates/Places: b. 1837
Creator Name-CRT: Tiffany and Company
Title: Presentation Tray
View: front
Creation Start Date: 1884
Creation End Date: 1884
Creation Date: 1884
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Silver
Materials and Techniques: silver
Dimensions: H.33-5/8 x W.29 x D.3 in.
AMICA Contributor: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Owner Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
ID Number: 81.5
Credit Line: Gift of Mr.& Mrs. Richard Slade

This elaborately decorated presentation tray was given to the railroad baron James J. Hill (1838-1916) by citizens of Minneapolis on September 10, 1884. The central view of the tray is the Stone Arch Railroad Bridge spanning the Mississippi River. On either side of the river banks above St. Anthony Falls are flour and saw mills, including the Washburn Flour Mill on the left bank and the Pillsbury Flour Mill on the right bank. Surrounding these mills are other commercial and domestic buildings. In the distance is the Second Hennepin Avenue Bridge, completed in 1876, and to its left, the Union Railroad Depot, then under construction as part of Hill's development of Minneapolis.

Around the border of the tray are eight vignettes illustrating events from Hill's career. These scenes, are separated by six animals' head trophies of elk, buffalo, Rocky Mountain sheep, deer and wolf, all indigenous to the Northwest Territory. In the top center is a portrait medallion of Hill.

The tray was commissioned by seventeen prominent Minneapolis businessmen on behalf of the citizens of their city to honor Hill's "work, character, and career in the Northwest Territory." The tray was commissioned after the completion of the Stone Arch Railroad Bridge, on November 23, 1883, which allowed passenger transportation across the Mississippi River into the heart of the business district of the city. The bridge was also a symbol of Minneapolis's prosperity and progress.

Component Measured: overall
Measurement Unit: in
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: ?The Minneapolis Institute of Arts

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