Magic Dinner Caster
Silver objects had long been cherished as status symbols because they were made out of the same silver that was used for coinage. By the mid-nineteenth century, the new technology of electroplating provided the appearance of silver at a fraction of the cost.
The Industrial Revolution created a fascination with novelty objects made for the middle class, such as the “magic caster,” patented by Edward Gleason in 1856. The turn of a knob rotates the niches to reveal bottles for condiments such as mustard, ketchup, and pepper.
- Maker: R. Gleason & Sons
- Medium: Silverplate, colorless glass
- Dates: Patented December 1, 1857
- Dimensions: 17 x 9 1/8 x 9 1/8 in. (43.2 x 23.2 x 23.2 cm) Other: 4 1/2 x 1 1/2 in. (11.4 x 3.8 cm) (show scale)
- Markings: embossed on one of six panels: "PATENTED DEC. 1 1857"
- Signature: no signature
- Inscriptions: no inscriptions
- Collections:Decorative Arts
- Museum Location: This item is not on view
- Accession Number: 87.175.1-.7a-b
- Credit Line: H. Randolph Lever Fund
- Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
- Caption: R. Gleason & Sons. Magic Dinner Caster, Patented December 1, 1857. Silverplate, colorless glass, 17 x 9 1/8 x 9 1/8 in. (43.2 x 23.2 x 23.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, H. Randolph Lever Fund, 87.175.1-.7a-b. Creative Commons-BY
- Record Completeness: Good (67%)