Punch bowl, ca. 1751
New York City
Silver; Overall 4 3/8 x 9 15/16 in. (11.1 x 25.2 cm)
Inscription: This, Plate Won By a Horse, CalD, OLD Tenor Belonging To Lewis Moris, Junr, Octobr, Ye, 11, 1751 [engraved image of horse and jockey]
Gift of Mrs. Lewis Morris, 1950 (50.161)
On October 11, 1751, five horses ran in the New York Subscription Plate race at Trinity Church Farm in New York. The race was won by Old Tenor, a horse belonging to Lewis Morris Jr. (1726–1798). This bowl, which was given to the Museum by a descendant of Morris, commemorates that event. The Morris family, one of the wealthiest in Colonial New York, resided on a vast estate, Morrisania, in Westchester County. Lewis Morris Jr., whose father and grandfather were also named Lewis Morris, was a gentleman farmer who was active in colonial politics and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. An avid horseman, he had one of the finest stables in the colonies. The name he chose for his horse, "Old Tenor," refers to eighteenth-century colonial paper currency issued prior to the late 1730s when "new tenor" notes were introduced.