Art Collections: Paintings

The Man O’ War, Aqueduct trophy

Daniel Smith, (British, op. 1763-1788)
gilt silver trophy on wood base, 22 x 12¾ inches
Gift from the Estate of Milton Ritzenberg, 2018

The Man O’ War Aqueduct trophy was created in 1773 and was first awarded as the Doncaster Cup in 1775. Made of gilded silver, the trophy is ornate, detailed with acanthus leaves, snake skin handles, and garland ornamentation. The finial is of a winged Victory holding a wreath and shield with a cherub at her feet. At 245 years old, it is one of the oldest objects in our collection. The Man O’ War Stakes, begun in 1959, was run at New York’s Aqueduct Racetrack in 1961. Wise Ship, owned by Milton Ritzenberg, not only won the race, but set a new record running 1 5/8 miles (13 furlongs) in 2:14. In 2017, Mrs. Grace Ritzenberg donated a Jean Eleanor Bowman painting of Wise Ship, painted in 1962, the year after he won at Aqueduct. It is fitting, then, that the trophy and painting should be reunited at the NSLM.

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