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New-York Historical Society – Virtual Tour

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New-York Historical Society – Virtual Tour

The New-York Historical Society presents exhibitions, public programs, and research that explore the rich history of New York and the nation.

The New-York Historical Society Museum & Library has been at its present site since 1908.

A Virtual Tour of the New-York Historical Society

A Virtual Tour of the New-York Historical Society

“Tontine Coffee House, N.Y.C.” by Francis Guy

“Tontine Coffee House, N.Y.C.” by Francis Guy depicts the Coffee House, which dates from 1792, and can be identified by the American flag on its roof.

The Tontine Coffee House on the north-west corner of Wall Street and Water Street was built by a group of stockbrokers to serve as a meeting place for trade and correspondence.

It was organized as a tontine, a type of investment plan, and funded by the sale of shares.

Diagonally opposite on the extreme right is the Merchant’s Coffee House, where the stockbrokers of the Buttonwood Agreement and others did trade before the construction of the Tontine. On the right is Wall Street, leading down to the East River.

Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, 1933

The Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, 1933, has a nominal value of a 20-dollar gold coin. Although 445,500 specimens of this Saint-Gaudens double eagle were minted, none were ever officially circulated, and all but two were ordered melted down.

However, twenty more are known to have been rescued from melting as they were stolen. Nineteen of these coins were later recovered by the Secret Service, who destroyed nine of them, making this one of the world’s rarest coins.

The two intentionally spared coins are in the U.S. National Numismatic Collection. One is in the hands of a private owner who paid nearly US$8 million for it in 2002, and ten others are held in Fort Knox.

The designer, Saint-Gaudens, took a great interest in the art of the coin. He designed the $20 gold piece, the double eagle coin, for the US Mint in 1905–1907, and it is considered one of the most beautiful American coins ever issued.

Pewterers’ Banner 1788

This Pewterers’ Banner from 1788 was carried in parades by the men in the Pewterer’s Guild of New York.

This banner was made for the Pewterers who were amongst the 5,000 people who paraded in New York City in 1788, to celebrate the new Constitution of the United States.

There were many banners and floats in the parade, but this Pewterer’s banner is the only surviving artifact from that day. The flag is a painted silk banner with a fringe on the top, bottom, and right side.

The parade represented widespread support for the new Constitution of the United States.

The parade enthusiasm would have helped the state representatives to quickly finalize their debate because the next day, the New York State assembly ratified the Constitution.

Benjamin Franklin Bust

This “Benjamin Franklin” by Jean-Jacques Caffiéri was created while Franklin was serving as ambassador to France. Franklin was delighted to sit for this bust by the royal sculptor to King Louis XV of France. 

Franklin was aware that his image was in demand, so he ordered eight plaster versions, which he gave to friends. This is one of the eight based on the original.

The original bust signed and dated 1777, is in the Bibliotheque Mazarine in Paris. Franklin charmed the French with what they perceived as rustic New World genius.

Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790) was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Franklin was a renowned polymath and a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, Freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, humorist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat.

Tiffany Lamps by Clara Driscoll & Louis Comfort Tiffany

A Tiffany lamp is a type of lamp with a glass shade made of glass designed by Tiffany & Co and its design teams. Tiffany lamps are considered part of the Art Nouveau movement. 

Due to Tiffany’s dominant influence on the style, the term ‘Tiffany Lamp’ or ‘Tiffany style lamp’ has often been used to refer to stained leaded glass lamps, even those not made by Louis Comfort Tiffany’s company.

Louis Comfort Tiffany was a designer who worked in the decorative arts and is best known for his work in stained glass. He is the American artist most associated with the Art Nouveau.

Tiffany designed stained glass windows and lamps, glass mosaics, blown glass, ceramics, jewelry, enamels, and metalwork. He was the first Design Director at his family company, Tiffany & Co., founded by his father.

  • Trumpet Creeper Shade – Tiffany Lamp
  • Dogwood Shade with Chased Pod Floor Base – Tiffany Lamp
  • Wisteria Table Lamp – Tiffany Lamp
  • Magnolia Shade – Tiffany Lamp
  • Gourd Shade – Tiffany Lamp
  • Nasturtium Shade with Mosaic Turtleback Tile Base – Tiffany Lamp

New-York Historical Society

New-York Historical Society Map

The New-York Historical Society

New-York Historical Society

A Tour of New York Museums

New-York Historical Society

A Tour of the Top Museums in the USA


“The modern world thinks of art as very important: something close to the meaning of life.”
– Alain de Botton


Photo Credit: JOM

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