IN THE BEGINNING … Early Acquisitions from the TMS Collection

Posted in Collections, Current Exhibits, Decorative Arts, Exhibits, Featured, Fine Arts, Industrial and Cultural Artifacts, Pottery

On View in Trenton City Museum

Founded in 1973, the Trenton Museum Society’s major goal was to find and purchase memorabilia relating to the fine and decorative arts produced in Trenton, pictures, and manufactured products and clothing, as well as articles associated with the social, political and athletic facets of Trenton and its early citizenry. Officers of the Society’s executive board were Trenton residents Eleanor A. Wyrough, president; Arthure Colletti, first vice president; Dr. Harold H. Kelsey, second vice president; and Barker Gummere, treasurer. Mrs. Joseph J. Waldron of Yardley, PA, was secretary.

On November 14, 1973, the society held its first meeting in the Trenton City Council Chambers. At the meeting a Civil War officer’s sword made in Trenton by Emerson and Silver, and recently purchased by the society, was displayed.

Unfortunately, the society’s earliest memorabilia collected were stored at the Trenton Civic Center and consumed in a devasting fire that totally destroyed the civic center on July 15, 1975.

For this exhibit the museum pulled out of its collection some of the earliest objects found in its extensive database.

Object – Etching, Little Suspension Bridge, Stacy Park (Shaky Bridge)

Artist – George Bradshaw

Donated by James R. Seibert

Small bridge extending over flowing water in a park. Trees, grass, and other vegetation can be seen in both the foreground and background. Each end of the bridge has a stone or brick archway that connects the two to create a strong diagonal across the pictorial plane.

Object – Oil on Board Painting, untitled

Artist – Dr. Frank F. Frederick

Donated by Elmer A. Reid

Composed of blue sky; fluffy white clouds; jagged green trees. Oil painting on Board

Object – Trade Cards

Manufacturer – Various

Donated by James R. Seibert

Over a century ago, during the Victorian era, one of the favorite pastimes was collecting small, illustrated advertising cards that we now call trade cards. These cards evolved from cards of the late 1700’s used by tradesmen to advertise their services. Although examples from the early 1800’s exist, it was not until the spread of color lithography in the 1870’s that trade cards became plentiful.

By the 1880’s trade cards had become a major way of advertising America’s products and services, and a trip to the store usually brought back some of these attractive, brightly colored cards to be pasted into a scrapbook.

Some of the products most heavily advertised by trade cards were in the categories of medicine, food, tobacco, clothing, household, sewing, stoves and farm.

The popularity of trade cards peaked around 1890, and then almost completely faded by the early 1900’s when other forms of advertising in color, such as magazines, became more cost effective.

Although trade card collecting began over 100 years ago, today’s strong interest in trade cards began relatively recently. Trade cards that were bought for ten cents thirty years ago frequently bring ten dollars or more in today’s market-and some have even sold for over a thousand dollars.

Object – Pair of Drinking Glasses

Manufacturer – Unknown

Donated by James R. Seibert

Pair of drinking glasses, “Salute to Trenton Ball, 1967.” Clear glass with gold seal and verbiage surrounding the seal.

Object – Plate

Manufacturer – Stangl Pottery

Donated by Bernice C. McLin

Dinner plate, pattern titled “Blossom Ring”, embossed flowers on rim in dark green, white and red-brown. Backstamp “Oven proof/Blossom Ring” Stangl.

Object – Tankard

Manufacturer –Thomas Maddock & Son Company

Donated by Verna Gill

White ceramic tankard with silver trim. Title on side “Compliments of Trenton Evening Times, Made in Trenton.” Black backstamp “Tho’s Maddock’s Son’s Company, Trenton, NJ.” Circ 1900.

Object – Commemorative Plate

Manufacturer – Frank Graham Holmes, Jr./ Mercer Pottery Co.

Donated by Margaret Pinto

Commemorative Plate, “Historic Trenton, Washington Crossing the Delaware.” George Bradshaw illustration. Green Makers Mark “900, cob. Blue”

Object – Mustache Cup

Manufacturer – Mott Company

Donated by James R. Seibert

A mustache cup was presented to Frederick Hamons, of East Trenton.  Cream color with multi-colored flowers and gilt.

Object – Commemorative Plate

Manufacturer – Lamberton Scammell

Donated by Seickel

Inscription: “New Jersey; 1679 – 1929, Seal of Trenton”. 1/4″ gold band at edge with an inner gold line encircling center, the blue image of “U” shaped 2-story building with porches. Blue backstamp open wreath around a crown with “S” & “China”, “above “Lamberton” & below “Scammell.”

Object – Saucer
1980.072a, 1980.072b, 1980.072c

Manufacturer – APM Ironstone Chine

Donated by James R. Seibert

Garfield Camp Saucer pottery

Object – Saucer

Artist/Manufacturer – Catherine Moomaw/Scammell

Donated by Bernice C. McLin

Saucer for Randolph-Macon Woman’s College 1893.  Saucer decorated with yellow and black band on rim and yellow and blue flowers, and school emblem.  Makers Mark: “Lamberton Scammell, USA/Catherine Moomaw.”

Object – Saucer
1980.070a, 1980.070b

Manufacturer – Ott & Brewer

Donated by James R. Seibert

Three white saucers with blue vine decorations.

Object – Plate

Manufacturer – John Maddock & Son

Donated by Thomas B. Healy     

Jesse Dean plate is white with gold gilt decorations.  Two manufacturer’s logos appear on the bottom of the plate: “John Maddock & Son”, the other which appears below “Jesse Dean.”

Object – Bowl

Manufacturer – Lenox China Inc.

Donated by Carolyn Stetson

Calligraphy style painting of flowering tree decorating a reproduction bowl from the Smithsonian. Gold backstamp “Smithsonian Institution/Ch’ing Dynasty Bowl/ a reproduction of a Ch’ing porcelain bowl/from the Smithsonian Institution’s Collection/copyrighted Smithsonian-1980/ Lenox China Inc./made in U.S.A.

Object – Plate

Manufacturer – Scammell

Donated by Miriam (Mrs. Marcel Liberty
on behalf of Thomas B. Healy

The plate has a border band of 1 1/4″ blue, yellow, tan and gilt on the rim.  The decorations include 6 urns and 3 faces each of William Penn & Mercury (Hermes). Backstamp “Lamberton S, China.”

Object – Virginia Jar
1980.034a, 1980.034b

Manufacturer – Ceramic Art Co., Lenox

Donated by Dorothy N. Robinson

A Virginian Jar, white with garland of blue enamel dots, multi-colors, gold trim, pink enamel lid, oval vignette of woman and one of house. Makers mark – green back stand “L/Lenox/The Virginian Decoration, Copyrighted”. Gold (684/G87.”

Object – Salt Cellar & Pepper Shaker
1980.029a, 1980.029b

Manufacturer – Lenox

Donated by Dorothy N. Robinson

Swan-shaped salt cellar, white with gold trim.  Makers mark on bottom is a green wreath backstamp “L/Lenox” Gold “59/86c” The porcelain pepper shaker is trimmed in gold on base and top rim, with a scroll design around base and several holes on top.  Manufacturer number 215/86c.

Object – Vegetable Dish

Manufacturer – Mercer China

Donated by Barbara Hunt

Semi-Vitreous China, vegetable dish.  Oval bowl with blue, scallop and relief edge, vine, and flower design.  Backstamp “semi-vitreous china, Mercer China.”

Object – Berry Bowl
1980.035a, 1980.035b

Manufacturer – Ceramic Art Co., Lenox

Donated by Dorothy N. Robinson

Berry bowl in white with pink and purple floral design and gold trim. Flat ladle-like shape with short handle, holes in bowl.  No makers mark. Circ 1889-1906

Base for berry bowl is white with pink and purple floral, gold trim.  Short cylindrical with curlicued base with gold trim.  Makers mark – purple backstamp wreath “CAC: Lenox.”

Object – Ceramic Platter

Artist/Manufacturer – James Graham Holmes, Jr. / Mercer Pottery Company

Donated by Verna Gill

Ivory platter, oval with scalloped edges.  Border 1″ with black line, yellow and orange flowers.  Backstamp “1865, Mercer Pottery Company, Trenton, New Jersey” Circ. 1865.

Object – Vase

Artist – Frank Applegate

Donated by Marguerite and Elmer Reid

Oval vase incised with linear and dynamic dancing figures. The vase is glazed in a low-luster beige with darker beige and brown regions filled in.

Object – Teapot “Blue Dot”

Manufacturer – Ceramic Art Co., Lenox

Donated by Mr. and Mrs. Colletti

Porcelain teapot with lid and infuser, off-white decorated with gilt and turquoise enamel.

Object – Coffee Set “Blue Dot” (Coffeepot, creamer, sugar bowl)
1981.001.01.01, 1981.001.01.02, 1981.002, 1981.001.03.01, 1981.001.03.02

Manufacturer – Ceramic Art Co., Lenox

Purchased by her friends in Memory of Lottie Lee Dinkins

Tall ivory-colored urn-shaped pot with squared gold covered handled, pedestal foot on square base. Round lid with urn-shaped finial. Off-white color with gold bands at edge that encircling blue enamel dots. Gold striped finial. Long straight neck that fits inside pot. Classic-style pitcher with pedestal foot on square base, squared off gold-covered handle and high lip. Fine gold scrollwork around lip. Similar decoration on coffee pot.   Two handle glazed sugar bowl with square base. Bowl rests on a pedestal trimmed with gold pin stripes.  The bowl has two gold rings with blue dots in the middle a rounding the piece. Similar decoration on coffee pot lid. All pieces have Maker’s mark – Backstamp “CAC, Lenox.”

Lottie Lee Dinkins (1906-1980), a resident of Trenton, was the step-mother of David Dinkins, the first Black mayor of New York City, from 1990-1993.

Object – xxxxxxx “Blue Dot”

Manufacturer – Ceramic Art Co., Lenox

Object – xxxxxxx “Blue Dot”

Manufacturer – Ceramic Art Co., Lenox

Object – Pitcher

Manufacturer – Matbury & Maddock

Donated by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Maddock

Pitcher is a Centennial Dragon. Oval-shaped pitcher of white ceramic with blue crackle glaze. Dragon-head mouth in black-grey glaze. Makers Mark in circle with anchor “Matbury & Maddock” trademark, stone china; blue backstamp. Circ 1876.

Object – Teacup and Saucer
1980.028a, 1980.028b

Manufacturer – Ceramic Art Co., Lenox

Donated by Dorothy N. Robinson

White 4-scalloped cup with pink rose on side and bud inside. No makers mark on the cup. White saucer with painted pink rose on the side and 2 buds on the other side. Gold trim the cup. Makers mark – green wreath backstamp “CAC/Lenox.”

Object – Demitasse Cup with Liner
1979.008a, 1979.008b

Manufacturer – Lenox Company

Donated by Dorothy N. Robinson

Porcelain Demitasse Cup with liner, part of set with a sterling silver border. Green outside and delicate pink flowers and vines painted inside, and it is gilt. Green backstamp. Circ 1898.

Object – White porcelain bust of John Roebling

Artist – Isaac Broome, sculptor William Kerwood

Donated by Alice Maddock

John Roebling’s stern features are accentuated by the play of light and dark over his chiseled features: his brow is furrowed, his thin lips in the center of a bushy moustache and beard and his eyes glaring intently forward. John A. Roebling’s words are carved into the flat area in the front of the bust, which rests atop a pedestal of spooled Roebling wire.

Object – Oil on Board Painting, untitled

Artist – Carroll Sargent Tyson, Jr.

Donated by the Tyson Family and Hirschl Adler Gallery, NYC

Landscape of Stacy Park (Shaky) Bridge.  Two fishermen are visible in the foreground.  The Delaware River and Pennsylvania hillside can be seen in the background.  Bridge near the water treatment plant.  Size 25X30, small linen inner, 4″ gold carved wood frame (frame size 34X39)

Object – Tools

Manufacturer – Dinger Brothers Iron Works

Donated by Joseph Dinger

The iron working tools include angles, chisels, reamers, wrenches, drills and drill bits, hammers, gouges, and other tools.

Object – Sculpture, untitled

Artist – Frank G. Applegate

Donated by Marguerite Elmer Reid

Untitled Entwined Women Figure. Two serpentine female figures seated in dance-like gesture in olive green rock-like pedestals. Each figure seems wrapped around one another: one is seated with legs outstretched and crossed at the ankles, to the right (facing), but her head is peeking out from behind the other figure on her left. The figures are faceless and without arms or carefully rendered extremities and are glazed in nude with floor-length navy-blue hair painted down their backs.

Object –Sculpture, Bust

Artist – Frank G. Applegate

Donated by Marguerite and Elmer Reid

Clay sketch of bust of balding man.  Yellow coloring.

Object – Sculpture, untitled

Artist – Frank G. Applegate

Donated by Marguerite and Elmer Reid

Seated old man with black glaze.

Object – Sculpture, untitled

Artist – Frank G. Applegate

Donated by Marguerite and Elmer Reid

Untitled old man and female nude sculpture. Bearded man with hands folded at chest, resembling a Japanese statuette. At his feet a nude female figure wraps around him, facing outward, with feet curled behind the male figure to the left (facing), arms to her sides, and head curling behind him to the right (facing.)

Object – Sculpture, Bust

Artist – Frank G. Applegate

Donated by Marguerite and Elmer Reid

Clay sketch of bust of blonde-haired man in high collared jacket. Orange and yellow coloring. Red face.

Object – Sculpture, Bust

Artist – Frank G. Applegate

Donated by Marguerite and Elmer Reid

Clay sketch of bust of balding gray-haired man with smile and big ears. Red-orange color. Makers mark “390” in pencil underneath.

Object – Sculpture, The Derelicts (or The Immigrants?) Sculpture

Artist – Frank G. Applegate

Donated by Marguerite and Elmer Reid

Ceramic clay sculpture of four men, clothed and in hats, seated on a bench.  From left to right (facing): one man hunched over with hands on face, leaning on his elbows on his knees; two in the center leaning over a paper and reading; one man leaning back sleeping. The sculpting style is rough, with slight rendering of features and articles of clothing. Low-luster, green-brown glaze.   Frank Guy Applegate was an author, artist (painter and ceramicist, primarily) and scholar. He taught sculpture and ceramics at the School of Industrial Arts (Trenton New Jersey) 1907-1921.

Object – Sculpture, untitled

Artist – Frank G. Applegate

Donated by Marguerite and Elmer Reid

Untitled female nude. Softly rendered, nude female standing with weight shifted from her right (facing) and her left hand is on her cheek. Low-luster, light green glaze.

Object – Sculpture, Bust

Artist – Frank G. Applegate

Donated by Marguerite and Elmer Reid

Blond haired bust. Clay sketch of bust of blonde-haired clergyman, wearing a black cap and garment. Black, yellow, and red-orange coloring.

Object – Sculpture, Bust

Artist – Frank G. Applegate

Donated by Marguerite and Elmer Reid

Clay sketch of bust of balding man with closed smile. Yellow and orange coloring.

Object – Sculpture, Three Dancing Figures

Artist – Frank G. Applegate

Donated by Marguerite and Elmer Reid

Three standing draped dancers with arms raised and legs bent in mid-dance. Each female figure seems to be loosely draped in cloth that winds in and out of their joyful formation. They are bent backwards and looking up at the sky, but their faces are softly rendered, and the features are smoothed over. Low-luster, yellow glaze.

Object – Decorative Tile

Artist – Frank G. Applegate

Donated by Marguerite and Elmer Reid

Tile depicting four nude women in blue, white, and brown glaze. Frank Applegate taught sculpture and ceramics at the School of Industrial Arts (Trenton NJ, 1907-1921).

Object – Sculpture, Bust

Artist – Frank G. Applegate

Donated by Marguerite and Elmer Reid

Clay sketch of bust of bald headed, big eared smiling man with incised cross on his chest. Red and green coloring.

Object – Bottle

Manufacturer – Liberty Bottle Works

Donated by James R. Seibert

Bottle, blue glass, with metal and cork stopper. Contains yellow liquid and dead insects. In an oval stamp in raised letters “CO. Johnson & Co. Trenton, NJ”. On back, raised letters “this bottle not to be sold.”

Object – Trenton Baker’s Trade Sign

Manufacturer – Unknown

Donated by James R. Seibert

Trenton Baker’s Trade Sign. Square yellow painted metal sign with seal of Trenton in upper corner.

Object – Bottles

Manufacturer – Unknown

Donated by James R. Seibert

Various Trenton bottles.

Object – Paperweight (glass and photograph)

Manufacturer – Mott Co.

Donated by James R. Seibert

A photograph of Trenton High School attached face up under heavy rectangular glass paperweight. Makers mark on front of photo above title.

Object – Paperweight (glass and photograph)

Manufacturer – Mott Co.

Donated by James R. Seibert

Photograph of building attached face up under heavy rectangular glass weight of the State Normal High School.

Object – Commemorative Coin Bank

Artist/Manufacturer – Anthony Greenwood sculptor/J.E. Brubaker, Designer/ Grey Iron Casting Co.

Donated by Mayor Author Holland

Coin bank, depicting a seated Mary Roebling holding a large key. The key is inserted into a slot carved from a model of the Trenton Trust Bank. The figure is moveable, when her arm is moved the key pushes inward and a Trenton Trust sign pops up from the top of the building as the coin slides down into the bank. 75th Anniversary Commemorative Mechanical Bank of Trenton Trust. This is 1 of 200 pieces made for Mary Roebling.  Underneath relief above makers mark “one of 200 pieces/The Brotherhood for survival of Free Enterprise, MGR”.  Circ 1963.

Object – Pocket Folder/Solfo Paint

Manufacturer – unknown

Donated by James R. Seibert

A Solfo Paint and Chemical Co pocket size folder.

Object – Mechanical Pencil

Manufacturer – unknown

Donated by James R. Seibert

Standard Supply & Equipment Co. mechanical pencil. Inscribed with “Standard Supply & Equipment Co. of NJ/143 North Warren St./Trenton, NJ.”

Object – Thermometer

Manufacturer – unknown

Donated by James R. Seibert

Pastoral Valley Scene of small cottage in bottom left with peasant people in front. Horse and cart with young male sitting in cart. To the bottom right where the thermometer is located, two young children play on swing, church is seen in the distance. Upper right is the name of the merchant “Edw. J. Steinel / Long’s Drug Store / Hamilton Ave., Cor. Olden, Trenton, NJ/ Telephone 4098”. Metal frame with hook top. Calendar on back is missing.

Object – Cannonball

Manufacturer – unknown

Donated by Mr. and Mrs. John A. Harvey

Cannonball, Label Read: {first label} “The Delaware (Ft.) Mercer is about ….e tge Rambo Farm … Mifflin is directly … tge Oebb side.”  {Second Label} “British … the attach …October 1777.  …ak L.L. Ward.  Makers mark “…lid shot … e Sep.23-1… /Rambo who plo… is farm on … ore.” Circ 1777.

Object – Commemorative Gavel
1980.004a, 1980.004b

Designed by – Martin G. Michlik, made by John Sansone

Donated by Mr. and Mrs. John A. Harney

Gavel and anvil were made with laminated wood. Length of railroad tracks with plaque in center block, reading “To Trenton Chapter N.R.H.S. from L. J. Linder, past president, June 15. 1940. (National Railway Historical Society)

Object – Plastic Care Reflector

Manufacturer – PG MPG Co, Canton OH

Donated by James R. Seibert

Red plastic reflector on round metal support with nut, washer and bold. On face in paper letters “Cooley’s Trenton Oil-Gas-Greases, Coolpen. Inscribed on back “A Product of PG MPG Co. Canton O”. Circ 1920.

Object – Leather Key Case

Manufacturer unknown

Donated by James R. Seibert

Cordovan cowhide key case, advertising D & H Blue Print Co.

Object – Wallet

Manufacturer – unknown

Donated by James R. Seibert

Muhihauser Cooperage leather wallet.

Objects – Mourning Jewelry (necklace, pendant, earrings, pin, pendant)
1980.076a, 1980.076b, 1980.076c, 1980.076d, 1980.076e

Manufacture – Unknown

Donated by Betty and Karl Schmidt

The necklace has a heart pendant hanging from chain with 3 oval shaped beads. Other beads are round and become slightly smaller.  Woven beads are separated by gold rings. The earrings are spiral buttons on ear wire. The pin design is also spiral. Makers Mark J.G. (?) to (?), May 1st 1865 inscribed on the reverse of the pin.

Mourning jewelry represents a connection to a deceased loved one. Mourning jewelry often features a tribute to the subject, commonly with an inscription, their initials, an eternal knot, lock of hair, a cameo or silhouette of the subject. While mourning jewelry as a concept has been around for centuries, it was popularized during the Victorian era after Prince Albert died and Queen Victoria remained in a perpetual state of mourning until her own death.

Object – Spinning Wheel

Manufacturer – D. Baker

Donated by unknown

The spinning wheel is of peg construction. The top wool holder has 4 curved, spiraled spindles, turnings. It was used to spin wool into yarn. The manufacturer’s name is engraved on the tabletop. Circ 1800.

Object – Cash Register

Manufacturer – Union Cash Register Co.

Donated by James R. Seibert

A wooden cash register with 4 vertical rows of metal levers. On top of the box has window numbered #1 to #9 on front with “Amount of your Purchase, Dollars, Cents” printed in gold.  The lower front keys in brass “Union Cash Register Co./Trenton NJ, No 2076.” On handle engraved “Patented February 4th. 1890”. Circ. 1890.

Object – Lithograph of State House, Trenton, NJ, 1846

Artist – H. Whatley

Donated by Ben and Jean Whitmire

S.E. View of State House, Trenton, NJ, 1846. Shows the alterations made to the building in 1845-46 by Philadelphia Architect John Notman (1810-1864). Artist is H. Whatley or (Whateley). Lithographer is T. Sinclair’s Philadelphia (Thomas Sinclair). Karl Flesch contributed funds at the Art & Artifacts Adoption Party on 10/5/2012 for its restoration, replacing the back with acid-free foamboard.

Object – Piece of steel cable

Manufacturer – John A. Roebling & Sons

Donated by Alice M. Irmisch

Section of industrial steel cable of twisted and coiled threads.

Object – Windsor Chairs
1978.014.01, 1978.014.02

Manufacturer – T. Cain

Donated by unknown

Two Windsor chairs with plank seat and bamboo turnings, 1790-1820.

Windsor chairs are a popular style of wooden chair constructed of turned (shaped on a lathe), slender spindles that are socketed into a solid, saddle-shaped wooden seat. Those spindles extending downward form the legs and those extending upward form the back and arm rests.

Object – Cashier’s Booth ticket window

Manufacturer – C.V. Hill Company

Donated by James R. Seibert

Portable cashier’s booth or office. Ceiling, Floor and Wall panels with opening for ticket window.

Object – Andirons
1978.016a, 1978.016b

Manufacturer/Artist – Joseph Dinger of Dinger Brothers Iron Works

Donated by John Dinger

Forged black wrought iron andirons shaped to resemble a snake’s head with green glass eyes. Circ 1930. Andirons, a pair of horizontal iron bars on short legs and placed parallel to the sides of the fireplace to support burning logs, were used from the Iron Age. A vertical guard bar at the front, placed to prevent logs from rolling into the room, are often ornately decorated.

Object – Portrait of S. Louis Belli, member of the Trenton City Museum Commission

Artist – Peggy Gummerie

Object – Swivel Chair

Manufacturer – American East Lake Style

Donated by James R. Seibert

Swivel chair with arms, seat and back upholstered in black fabric.  Square design held with decorative brass tacks.  The rectangular back is held by 6 spindles attached to wood and topped with 7 shorter spindles and horizontal bar. Brass plaque on back of chair reads “This chair occupied by D.J. Bechtel, Mayor, Trenton, NJ from 1891-1893.”

Object – Portrait of James R. Seibert, Treasurer of the Trenton City Museum Commission

Artist – Peggy Gummerie

Donated by James R. Seibert

Object – Desk

Artist – William Kerwood

Donated by James R. Seibert

Cherry fall-front desk of late Chippendale designer with makers paper label “William Kerwood” inside a compartment drawer.  Four drawers in graduated size with the largest on the bottom. Each drawer has two handles and a keyhole. Two wooden side bars pull out to support the slant-top which pulls down to create a writing surface. Inside the desk are two sets of four drawers, four pigeon-holes and a center door.  Behind the door are three drawers.  Drawer faces are carved.  The desk has bracket feet.