Purchase, William Cullen Bryant Fellows Gifts, 2008
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 724
William Bayard (1761–1826) commissioned this table service (2008.594.1-.53) in 1818 for his daughter Harriet (1799–1875) and her husband Stephen Van Rensselaer IV (1789–1868) from Pellatt & Green, London’s premier glasshouse. The fine lead glass and deep Regency cutting would have created a brilliant sparkle in their candlelit dining room, in Albany, New York. The set originally included dozens of drinking glasses, for claret, ale, and champagne, as well as decanters, wine coolers, tumblers, and finger glasses, all “elegantly cut in diamonds & Rings” according to the surviving bill of sale (2008.594.54a,b). In addition to its elegance and quality, the service is extremely rare in it’s documentation to the specific American family who owned it and to the English glasshouse that made it.