Mary Mason Jones (1801-1891) was the daughter of banker John Mason, second president of Chemical Bank, and with her sisters Rebecca and Sarah, one of the leaders of New York Society in the second quarter of the 19th century. She married in 1819 Isaac Jones, who also served as president of the bank. This tray was a present from her mother-in-law, Margaret Renshaw (1765-1848), who had married Joshua Jones.
Ms. Jones was the aunt of novelist Edith Wharton, who immortalized her as Mrs. Manson Mingott in The Age of Innocence. After inheriting the eastern block of Fifth Avenue between 57th and 58th streets from her father's estate, the widowed Mrs. Jones built in 1867 "Marble Row", as shocking at the time for its French styling and marble facades in a brownstone city as for its location, far above the fashionable area. Society moved upwards, though, and in 1883 Cornelius Vanderbulit began construction on his mansion opposite.
Arthur Mason Jones (1855-1899) was Mary Mason Jones' grandson, by her son Mason Renshaw Jones. The tray may have been given on his marriage to Cornelia Waldo.
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