This wool and silk tapestry was originally one of nine allegorical tapestries on the life of Alexander the Great, after cartoons by the workshops of Karl van Mander II. Woven in Delft in 1619, the tapestry is inscribed “MANDER FECIT ANNO 1619.” Cornelius Vanderbilt II acquired the piece in 1880 at an auction in Florence.
The Judgment of Paris (1822/23)
Renowned English silversmith Paul Storr made this silver centerpiece entitled The Judgment of Paris for the Baron Henrique Teixeira de Sampaio of Lisbon, Portugal. Storr worked in the neoclassical style and created everything from simple tableware to large-scale sculptural pieces.
Tea caddy (c. 1873)
Tiffany & Co. produced this silver tea caddy in 1873. It is one of the firm’s earliest pieces in the Japanese style. Cherry blossoms, bamboo, and the inscription “ELR” in mock Japanese calligraphy decorate the exterior. Ella Louisa Rives received the caddy as a gift upon her marriage to David King, Jr. in 1875.
Portrait plaque of David Maitland Armstrong (1877)
Sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens created this bronze portrait plaque of the artist David Maitland Armstrong. The relief was modeled in New York and cast in Paris in 1877 by Saint-Gaudens. The two artists met in Rome in 1872 and developed a lifelong friendship. Armstrong’s son Edward married Gwendolen King of Kingscote in 1901.
Flowers and Ribbons Service (1879)
This porcelain plate was produced in France in 1879 and is part of the “Flowers and Ribbons” service designed by the artist Felix Bracquemond. A successful painter, engraver, and designer, Bracquemond served as head painter at the National Sevres Porcelain Manufactory.
Art pottery vases (c. 1880)
Ceramicist John Bennett was instrumental in bringing a taste for Aesthetic Movement ceramics from Great Britain to America. While working in England, John Bennett developed a distinctive technique of underglaze decoration, which was displayed in his works at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition of 1876. Bennett’s style and choice of subject matter – flowers, birds and fruits stylized into flat, two-dimensional patterns – had much in common with Japanese prints and works by British designers such as William Morris.
“Votes for Women” cup and saucer (1914)
J. Maddock & Sons produced this “Votes for Women” cup and saucer as part of a luncheon service for Alva Vanderbilt Belmont’s Conference of Great Women held at Marble House in July of 1914. The conference began with a reception honoring Consuelo Vanderbilt, Duchess of Marlborough, for her charity work and was followed by speeches from leading suffragettes.
Model for the St. Nazaire Memorial (1926)
This bronze model for the St. Nazaire Memorial is the work of American sculptor Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. Erected at the French port of St. Nazaire in Brittany, the monument was completed in 1926 and destroyed in 1941 during the Nazi Occupation of France. In 1989, French sculptor Pierre Fousenant recreated the memorial at the original site.