This piece was made in 1897, the first full year of Martelé production, and the completion date suggests that it was finished to be part of the initial public viewing of the Martelé line, at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York on November 15, 1897. Larry Pristo writes that this "collection of about 300 pieces" would have included essentially every piece of Martelé made to this point, approximately 311 items excluding flatware (op. cit., p. 18).
The Thayer name is probably for John Borland Thayer II (1862-1912), Director and Second Vice President of the Pennsylvania Railroad. He married in 1892 Marian Morris, and the couple lived on an estate, "Redwood", in Haverford, PA. In 1912 they and their son were returning from Europe as first-class passengers on the Titanic; John Thayer was lost in the disaster, Mrs. Thayer and her maid survived, and Jack Thayer jumped from the sinking ship and was rescued clinging to an overturned lifeboat.
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