M. Thalmessinger was President of the Mechanics and Traders Bank, New York, and a promoter of Jewish education in America. A mid-19th century print of him is in the collection of the New York Public Library.
The nineteenth-century silver goblet belongs to the small body of pre-Civil War American Judaica that is rarely seen outside of public institutions. The goblet is distinctive for its early connection to the first Jewish fraternal brotherhood founded in the United States, the B'nai B'rith (Sons of the Covenant) - and specifically its first established lodge, New York Lodge No. 1. The lodges had historical significance for the central roles they played in arguably the most significant Jewish organization in nineteenth-century America and New York Jewish cultural history. Inscribed a mere ten years after the B'nai B'rith was established, this commemorative goblet embodies the forging of a new American Jewish identity and the ascent of the German-Jewish community in New York and the United States.
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