This plaque is one of a small group of works bearing the initials of Tiffany & Co.'s European-trained designer Eugene J. Soligny (1832-1901). Soligny began work for Tiffany & Co. circa 1858. Trained in the classical manner by Leonard Morel-Ladeuil, many of Soligny's most well-known designs drew upon themes of the American West. He designed, among others, the Jerome Park Race Cup (1867), the Comanche Indian Race Trophy (1867), the Nast Testimonial Vase (1878-9) and the famous Bryant Vase (1875), now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The study for the scene in this plaque is included in the notebooks of Soligny at the Tiffany & Co. archives and illustrated in John Loring, Magnificent Tiffany Silver, 2001, p. 129. Another identical plaque, also signed by Soligny, formed the centerpiece of the Military and Naval Challenge Trophy in 1879. The trophy was commissioned by Judge Henry Hilton as first prize in the National Rifle Association's annual sharpshooting match. A contemporary account described the trophy's plaque as "a master work of repoussé chasing in black steel" (National Repository, 1879). The trophy, now altered, is today part of the collection of the Civilian Marksmanship Program.
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The Military and Naval Challenge Trophy, illustrated in the National Repository, circa 1879