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American Decorative Arts
Manufacturer: Simpson, Hall, Miller and Company, American, 1866–1898

Card Receiver

ca. 1880

Silver and gold-plated white metal

8 1/2 × 10 1/4 × 9 3/4 in. (21.59 × 26.035 × 24.765 cm)
Gift of John Stuart Gordon in honor of Patricia E. Kane, Ph.D. 1987
The Japanese pavilion at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition of 1876 introduced eastern aesthetics to the American pubic, igniting a craze for “Japanesque” designs on all manner of decorative arts, from textiles to furniture. This card receiver was manufactured by Simpson, Hall, Miller and Company, the Connecticut firm that specialized in high-end silver plate. The Japanese-inspired decoration includes a basket-weave handle, an egret wading in a marsh, floral roundels, and flying songbirds. Despite its exotic references, this object is part of the particularly Victorian custom of receiving a visitor’s calling card. It is in remarkable condition, retaining its original silver plate and fragile gilding.
Manufactured in Wallingford, Connecticut
On view
19th century
Containers - Metals

Private collection; sold Christie's, New York, January 17, 2008, lot 102; purchased by John Stuart Gordon, New Haven, Conn.; donated to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn. in March 2008.


“Acquisitions, July 1, 2007–June 30, 2008,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2008): 176.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.