In 1877, when Comstock silver tycoon John Mackay’s wife asked him for a silver service, he knew where to go. He sent 1,000 pounds of pure silver to Tiffany and Co. in New York City to fashion into a family silver service. Two hundred silversmiths worked for two years to create a 1,350-piece set that is now considered the finest silver service ever made. The choice of Tiffany & Co. was not a difficult one for Mackay; Tiffany was the leading producer of silver goods in the United States and rapidly gaining a worldwide reputation that fifteen years later would cause The Art Journal of London to gush: “One may well be in doubt whether our much-boasted European pre-eminence in these things is to last much longer, and whether, after all, we shall not, in the near future, be compelled to regard the firm of New York as at least our equals, if not our superiors, in the production of high-class gold and silver work.?