Christian Wiltberger (American, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1766–1851 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Samuel Alexander (active ca. 1796–1814)
Made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
1 1/2 x 22 5/8 x 16 1/4 in. (3.8 x 57.5 x 41.3 cm); 83 oz. 8 dwt. (2594 g)
Bequest of Claire L. Wilson, 1967
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774
This tray was presented by the merchants of Philadelphia to Captain John Hodge of the American ship Sedgeley in honor of his daring rescue at sea of 160 sailors, soldiers, and passengers from the British transport ship Aurora on February 2, 1796. The tray was accompanied by a silver tankard (1971.99.1), which descended together in the Hodge family.
Inscription: engraved in center of tray (in script except for passages in all caps, which are shaded roman): From / A number of Merchants together with / North American & Pennsylvania Insurance Companies / of the / CITY OF PHILADELPHIA / TO (small caps) CAPT. JOHN HODGE / OF THE (small caps) AMERICAN SHIP "SEDGELEY" / In testimony of their high sense of his humane & hazardous exertions / In saving the lives of 160 British Soldiers & Sailors / OF THE "AURORA" TRANSPORT / When sinking, February 2[superscript "nd" with a line under the n] 1796. / With high esteem / Thomas Fitzsimons- Conyngham, Nesbit & Co. / William Cramond.
Marking: marked twice on underside: WILTBERGER / & ALEXANDER (in rectangle) marked on underside: [eagle displayed] (in shaped surround)
Captain John Hodge, Philadelphia, from ca. 1796; his daughter, Elizabeth Hodge; descended in the Hodge family; Claire L. Wilson, New York, until died 1967