Made from a Tridacna (giant clam) shell—which could weigh up to 500 pounds and live 100 years—and mounted in a sea of silver mermaids, the punch bowl is part of a 32-piece set crafted by Filipino silversmiths, Fernando and Tomás Zamora around 1903. The set was exhibited at the Louisiana Purchase and Lewis and Clark expositions before being purchased and then gifted to the NMNH by then Secretary of War William Howard Taft in 1906—three years before he was elected president. (Cassia Balogh, Smithsonian) . Owner and Photo credit: Department of Invertebrate Zoology at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History Acc # USNM 1454928

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Map    Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History