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New Silver exhibit opens at Robert Mills House

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A new silver exhibit has opened at Historic Columbia's Robert Mills House. The new permanent exhibit is composed of items from Historic Columbia's collection as well as some items on loan.

According to Fielding Freed, Historic Columbia's Director of Historic Houses, this new exhibit is the first of several in the planning stages. Others include furniture and an exhibit on the Columbia Theological Seminary which was headquartered at the Robert Mills House from the 1830s to the 1920s.

The exhibit includes several pieces from the Hampton family including an egg boiler and a meat dome with a depiction of the Hampton family crest on the top, the exhibit is included in the regular admission for the Robert Mills House.

Check the list for a tour of the exhibit!

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Prideful Possessions
Prideful Possessions photo by author

Prideful Possessions

"Prideful Possessions: A South Carolina Silver Sampler" is the first of what could be several focus galleries in the Robert Mills House.

Lead placard
Lead placard photo by author

Lead placard

This placard explains the context of the exhibit. The lower part explains the different types of silver used, sterling, coin and plate. Oddly enough, coin silver is not melted coins, it is a mixture of 90% silver and 10% copper.

Egg boiler
Egg boiler photo by author

Egg boiler

This egg boiler comes from the collection of silver belonging to Wade Hampton I and carries his initials. You would fill it with boiling water and lower the egg rack into it. 

Meat dome
Meat dome photo by author

Meat dome

This meat dome was also a Hampton piece and features the Hampton family crest on top. This was probably used for Turkey, beef and other kinds of roasts. 

pitcher photo by author


This pitcher carried an inscription, "Won by Ormond for Harriet" referring to a horse race or equestrian event. The Hamptons were, among other things, horse breeders.