'Hill tray' presented to James J. Hill by seventeen prominent Minneapolis businessmen, kidney shaped in outline, has large flat central are engraved with a view of Minneapolis showing the Stone Arch Railroad Bridge completed 22 Nov. 1883; around the perimeter of the scene, within molded reserves, are eight vignettes representing significant incidents in J.J. Hill's career, separated by a profile medallion of Hill (top center), six animal head trophies, and a monogram of Hill's initials; all parts individually designed and manufactured, separately cast and joined to central panel

James J. Hill Presentation Tray, 1884

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Gift of Mr.and Mrs. G. Richard Sladeexpand_more  81.5

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The citizens of Minneapolis presented this elaborate tray to the railroad baron James J. Hill (1838–1916) on September 10, 1884. It honored Hill’s “work, character, and career in the Northwest” and commemorated the recent completion of the Stone Arch Bridge, which allowed passenger transportation across the Mississippi River into the city. The tray is engraved with a view of Minneapolis in 1884, including the Stone Arch Bridge, the Washburn flour mill (on the left) and the Pillsbury flour mill (on the right). Upriver is the Hennepin Avenue Bridge and to its left the Minneapolis Union Depot, part of Hill’s development of rail service in the city. In the border are scenes of events from Hill’s career, culminating in a portrait medallion at the top. Separating these are six trophy heads of animals native to the Northwest Territory: elk, buffalo, Rocky Mountain sheep, deer, and wolves.

Details
Title
James J. Hill Presentation Tray
Artist Life
New York City, est. 1853
Role
Maker
Accession Number
81.5
Curator Approved

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'Hill tray' presented to James J. Hill by seventeen prominent Minneapolis businessmen, kidney shaped in outline, has large flat central are engraved with a view of Minneapolis showing the Stone Arch Railroad Bridge completed 22 Nov. 1883; around the perimeter of the scene, within molded reserves, are eight vignettes representing significant incidents in J.J. Hill's career, separated by a profile medallion of Hill (top center), six animal head trophies, and a monogram of Hill's initials; all parts individually designed and manufactured, separately cast and joined to central panel