Featured Museum Piece
USS North Carolina Battleship Silver
USS North Carolina Sterling Silver Tea Service
From 2005 to 2007, Replacements, Ltd. was honored to display the official sterling silver service for the battleship USS North Carolina. Calling this very rare set simply a “silver service” significantly understates the grandeur of these pieces, and the display generated significant interest during its time on display in our museum.
This huge service (it’s very large) was commissioned on August 15, 1907 by the North Carolina General Assembly and was to be used aboard the USS North Carolina (ACR12). The service was ordered from H. Mahler Silversmiths in Raleigh, NC, who, in turn, had the service crafted by Dominick and Haff of New York. (Dominick and Haff was later purchased by Reed and Barton.) For a brief period, this silver service was decommissioned for use at sea and was used in the North Carolina governor’s mansion.
USS North Carolina Sterling Silver Water Service
The set actually consists of five different sterling silver services in one, and includes separate tea, water, wine, cigar, and punch bowl sets. The sterling tea service consists of a 25" waiter tray, coffee pot, tea pot, water kettle, creamer, sugar bowl, and waste bowl. This gorgeous tea set is decorated in sterling silver with various iconic symbols representing the United States, North Carolina, and the US Navy. The water service consists of a medium-sized waiter tray that is 15 7/8" in diameter. The service also has a 14" tall water pitcher with a scalloped fish motif.
Throughout the entire USS North Carolina service, a silver nautical “rope” trim is a prominent additional design accent. The wine service features three crystal wine carafes that were used to serve port, sherry, and Madeira. Each of the wine servers sits atop wine coasters that are 8" in diameter, with 2" high edges. The bottoms of the coasters are lined with wood and have the North Carolina state seal prominently displayed in the center. The USS North Carolina cigar service consists of a wood humidor with silver plaque top, a tabletop alcohol lighter, and 4 match holders. The match holders are very unique pieces. An ornate center pillar is used to hold the matches, while the outer rim is used as an ashtray or cigar holder.
USS North Carolina Sterling Silver Punch Bowl Service
The fifth and final of the services in this set is the massive punch bowl service. The bowl alone is 21" in diameter! 24 silver punch cups were originally commissioned for the service, and an additional base and cup ring were eventually required to help hold the silver punch cups in place while the ship was pitching and tossing at sea! The rim of the bowl for this set features a sterling silver eagle with outstretched wings. The North Carolina State Capitol is etched on the front side of the bowl while an etching of the North Carolina battle cruiser appears on the back. On each side of the punch bowl there are large electric light candelabras, each bearing 3 ornate lampshades.
USS North Carolina Sterling Silver Finger Bowls with Plates
In addition to the five services described above, there is more, including 24 finger bowls, 24 plates, and 24 ice cream trays. Over the years, several pieces were lost, including the wine carafe stoppers, a punch cup, a match holder, and the humidor (in an attempt to locate these lost items, the state of North Carolina enlisted the help of Replacements, Ltd. in the search). Currently, the state of North Carolina preserves and maintains the battleship USS North Carolina as a tour site in Wilmington. This very popular tourist center is a source of great pride for North Carolinians, and Replacements, Ltd. was happy to help with the care and display of this silver from the battleship, loaned to us by the “Battleship North Carolina” group.
Although this historic USS North Carolina sterling silver service is no longer on display in our museum, we always invite you to visit our facilities – here you’ll see a stunning variety of silver, china, crystal, and collectibles. Our showroom and museum are open from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm ET, 7 days (except holidays); free tours are available from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm ET, 7 days. The showroom and museum are conveniently located between Greensboro and Burlington, NC, at exit 132 off Interstate 85/40. We look forward to seeing you!
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