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USS Arkansas Silver

In 1912, the battleship U.S.S. Arkansas, the third battleship that was named for our state, was commissioned into service by the U.S. Navy.  It was an American tradition at the time to have a fine silver service for use by the officers on the ship.  The state or city for which the ship was named after traditionally paid for the silver service.


Raising the money to acquire the silver service was not easy and took six long years.  The final portion of the funds was appropriated by the State Legislature in January of 1919, and the silver service was presented to the U.S.S. Arkansas on April 21, of that year. When the ship was decommissioned in 1946 after serving in World Wars I and II, the service was returned to the custody of the State of Arkansas as a loan and was later officially given to the state.


The silver service was crafted by the Gorham Manufacturing Company at a cost of $7,875. Stylized dolphins, as well as extensive use of Arkansas decorative motifs such as the state flower, the Apple Blossom, and the State Seal, are incorporated into the silver collection’s décor. 


The large silver punch bowl contains images of the State Capitol, the State seal and two eagles.  The service also includes two large 5-branched candlesticks and a coffee urn, both engraved with the Arkansas State seal and the U. S. Navy seal.  The design on the champagne bucket is a map of counties depicting local agricultural products or natural resources indigenous to each county in Arkansas.

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