The Van Dorn Silver Bowl Fashioned in 1699 by Jesse Kip of New York: A Racing Trophy from Monmouth County, New Jersey, or a Dutch Brandywine Bowl?
In the study of early silver owned by Monmouth County families, one piece stands out. It is a silver bowl with two handles and six panels that is monogrammed “VD / I M” for Jacob and Maritje Van Dorn and dated 1699. Of a form made in New York City between 1690 and 1720, a legend, first recorded in the early 20th century, accompanies the bowl. Descendants believed that it was a racing trophy awarded for winning a horse race held on King’s Highway in Middletown Village. This article discusses the bowl, its form and function, descent in the Van Dorn and Conover families, early horse racing in America, an antiques dealer named Edna M. Netter who once handled it, acquisition by the Henry Ford Museum, and finally, the legend itself.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. All authors retain copyright.