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Mug (Abraham Lincoln & James Garfield)

Decorative Arts and Design

On View: Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, American presidents were often the subject of pressed-glass objects that most typically celebrated them as political candidates and more rarely memorialized them as political heroes and martyrs. Plate 40.159, showing Grover Cleveland (1837-1908), is presumably a souvenir of his presidential campaign of 1884 or 1892. Cleveland and his running mate, Thomas Hendricks (1819-1885), defeated the Republican candidate James G. Blaine (1830-1893) and his running mate, John "Black Jack" Logan (1826-1886), who are illustrated on plate 40.157, also a campaign souvenir. Plate 40.167 was issued as a memorial remembrance on the death of Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), the leading Union general during the Civil War who became president in 1868. It depicts Grant with the slogan "Let Us Have Peace" and his birth and death dates. The mug decorated with busts of Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) and James Garfield (1831-1881) and inscribed "Our Country's Martyrs" refers to the assassinations of these two national leaders in 1865 and 1881 respectively.

  • Place Manufactured: United States
  • DATES ca. 1881
    DIMENSIONS 2 5/8 x 3 7/8 x 2 5/8 in. (6.7 x 9.8 x 6.7 cm)  (show scale)
    INSCRIPTIONS On bottom, molded: (written backwards to read correctly from inside of mug) "OUR / COUNTRYS / MARTYRS" On side with Lincoln portrait, molded: (on proper right of bust) "BORN / FEB / 12TH / 1809."; (on left) "ASSASINATED / APRIL 14TH / 1865."; (below) "DIED APRIL 15TH 1865. / LINCOLN" On side with Garfield portrait, molded: (on proper right side of bust) "BORN NOV. 19TH / 1831"; (on left) "ASSASINATED / JULY 2nd / 1881."; (below) "DIED SEPt. 19TH 1881. / GARFIELD"
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Mrs. William Greig Walker by subscription
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Small, colorless pressed glass footed mug decorated with portrait busts of James Garfield, on one side, and Abraham Lincoln, on the other, and inscriptions about their assassinations. Lip of mug is molded into a thick ring; handle is a ring shape with leafy design to resemble a wreath; a star-covered "swath" runs between the lower section of the handle and the side of mug.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
    CAPTION Mug (Abraham Lincoln & James Garfield), ca. 1881. Glass, 2 5/8 x 3 7/8 x 2 5/8 in. (6.7 x 9.8 x 6.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. William Greig Walker by subscription, 40.182. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 40.182_bw.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 40.182_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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