This elaborately carved vase, which Lieutenant Edward Babson Babbit appears to have given to his friend Sarah Frances Loring as a wedding gift in 1834, was made of wood taken from the USS "Constitution." After becoming the first American vessel to defeat a British ship in the War of 1812, "Old Ironsides" underwent a complete overhaul in 1833. Much of the wood removed during the renovation went to create objects like this vase to commemorate the ship's historic victories.

Peek Inside the Smithsonian’s Archive of Victorian Collectibles

If you’re curious about the history of ordinary objects, you’ll want to add the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American … Continue reading