West Point sterling silver napkin ring belonging to Colonel Samuel Burkhardt Jr., USMA class of 1889, made by Tiffany and Company.
Colonel Burkhardt was born September 10, 1865 and, being appointed from Illinois, attended West Point from June 14, 1885 until his graduation June 12, 1889.
One of his first assignments we to survey the Little Big Horn Battlefield in 1890. He also participated in the So-called Sioux Wars of 1890 - 1891.
He was assigned to the US Army 25th Infantry as a 2nd Lieut, then to the 10th as a 1st Lieut.
He served on frontier duty from 1889 to 1897, becoming a Captain with the 19th Infantry, when has was sent with them to Puerto Rico.
He was eventually promoted to Colonel and held various command positions, including commanding officer at Fort Sheridan and Camp Ouster during WWI, until his final assignment, when he led a Battalion of Regular Army Infantry from Camp Sherman, Ohio to Williamsburg, West Virginia on Aug 30, 1920 to help in dealing with the disturbances caused by the striking coal miners in the area.
Colonel Burkhardt retired voluntarily on Sept 9, 1920.
He died Dec 29, 1929 in New York City and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
There is an interesting news article about Burkhardt dated Oct 27, 1907 in the Baltimore sun under New York Topics concerning an incident where he was arrested in New York City in front of the Hotel Breslin while on leave. Apparently, two men whom he met at a club and he decided to go up to West Point to watch a Football game. While matching pennies to see who would pay the expenses, one of the men holding the money stepped out for as moment and the other man followed. Burkhardt, suspecting he was being swindled and a fight resulted. The Court discharged Burkhardt and Burkhardt was seeking the other man, named P. W. Wald.
The use of silver napkin rings at West Point dates from 1886 and this is one of the earliest examples we have seen.
All of the later ones we have seen have the year of graduating class engraved under the name of the Cadet.
This handsome napkin ring is 1 3/4" in diameter, 1 3/8" tall and weighs 44 grams or 1.4 ozs Troy and is inscribed: Samuel Burkhardt Jr. on the opposite side of the heavily embossed USMA script.
Inscribed as described above, the soft, warm, original finish is present, with no buffing or machine polishing.
The excellent original condition and clear detail, with no removals, repairs or alterations, make this an especially attractive offering.