USS Maine Commemorative Quadruple Plate Dish
Manufactured by Poole Silver Co of Taunton Mass, we believe this little dish was made to honour the sinking and loss of the USS Maine (ACR-1) in Havana Harbour (Harbor) in February 1898 and so contributing to the outbreak of the Spanish–American War. The press soon got on the bandwagon and came up with the phrase "Remember the Maine! To hell with Spain! and this became a rallying cry for action. The cause of the explosion proved contentious but it served as a catalyst that accelerated the events leading up to the war with Spain.
The dish is made of Quadruple Plate which was a high quality silver plating and whilst it did not mean the plating was carried out four times it meant four times as much pure silver was used, compared with standard plating. The maker, Poole Silver Company was based in Taunton, Massachusetts, established in 1892 and were an early manufacturer of silver products made with electroplating techniques; they were taken over in 1971 by Towle Silversmiths. Our dish is named on the inside base to 'U.S. Baltic Ship' and below, whilst slightly worn, is the legend 'Sunk in Havana Harbor'. Below this is an image of the 'Maine' in relief, followed by the ships name in stylised form. Whilst not dated seeing the vessel sank on 15th February 1898 it must have been made during or after 1898 to commemorate this loss, when 260 members of her crew, three quarters of her total strength, were killed in the explosion on that fateful day. The underside of the base carries the makers marks as detailed above and in addition the number 518. We stand to be corrected but we speculate this could be the manufacturers catalogue number for this piece.
The dish measures 6.5" diameter (17 cm) and stands 2" high (5 cm), sitting on four ornate feet. The plating shows some wear, as to be expected after over 100 years and a slight bump to the edge around the 9 o'clock position but generally remains in very good display condition. How this item turned up along with a collection of British of Royal Navy related items at auction in Exeter, Devon we will never know but it almost certainly has a story to tell. Seeing this commemorates a pivotal piece of US Naval and national history we feel it is time to repatriate the dish over the pond. As with all out stock more detailed images are available and we are happy to provide a delivered price on request.