United States Senate
United States Senate Senators HomeCommittees HomeLegislation & Records HomeArt & History HomeVisitor Center HomeReference Home
United States Senate
Origins & Development
Historical Minutes
Special Collections Highlights
Graphic Arts
Oral History Homepage

 Image: Sèvres Dish (Cat. no. 46.00013) 
Sèvres Dish
by National Manufacture of Sèvres 
Porcelain, 1753-54 ca.
Overall measurement
      Height: 5.5 inches  (14 cm)
      Width:  12.5 inches  (31.8 cm)
      Depth: 7.5 inches  (19.1 cm)
Manufacturer's mark (recto, centered on dish): hand painted interlaced L's enclose the date letter A [for 1753-54], and the initial S [for the decorator] appears below
Cat. no. 46.00013.001

On December 27, 1888, the Senate Pages (from the 50th Congress, 2nd Session) presented this Sèvres dish to “Capt. and and Mrs. Bassett” in honor of their Golden (50th) Wedding Anniversary. Isaac Bassett (1819-1895) married Adeline Virginia Hurdle (1820-1897) on December 27, 1838.

Isaac Bassett began his Senate career in December 1831, at the age of 12, when he was appointed by Daniel Webster to serve as the institution's second page. Promoted to messenger in 1838 and to assistant doorkeeper in 1861, Bassett worked in the Senate Chamber, attending nearly every legislative session until his death in 1895. He was deeply esteemed by senators and fellow employees alike for his discreet, faithful, and dedicated service.

The rectangular soft-paste porcelain dish features a central hand painted image of a young man and woman in a garden. The outer rim of the dish has two floral hand painted panels on a celestial blue background. The dish is mounted in an ormolu (gilt bronze) frame with twin scroll handles and raised on four foliate scroll feet. Descended through the family, the Sèvres dish was given to the Senate in 1989 by Anjanette Vail Van Horn (great-great-granddaughter of Isaac Bassett).


Senate Art

Explore the Senate's Art with the Office of the Senate Curator.


Have questions about Senate art? E-mail the curator, curator@sec.senate.gov.

Virtual Capitol Tour

Take a look inside the Capitol with our 360 degree virtual tour!