Norfolk Mace

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Fuller White (English, active 1734–73)
Norfolk Mace, 1753
Silver
L89.1

Symbolizing the political birth of the city of Norfolk in the colonial era, this English mace was presented to the city in 1753 by Robert Dinwiddie (1693–1770), then Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. It was made by the London silversmith Fuller White.

The mace has remained in Norfolk since 1753, and it is the only municipal mace in the United States still retained by the city for which it was commissioned. Before the Revolutionary War, the city mace was routinely paraded before the mayor at the opening sessions. In January 1776, the mace and important documents were buried in a garden in Kemps Landing (present-day Kempsville) to protect them from the British invasion. During the Civil War, Colonel William W. Lamb of the Confederate Army concealed it beneath the library fireplace in his house at 420 Bute Street. Although the house was occupied by Union troops, the mace was not discovered. Lamb returned it to the city after the war, and in 1989, the Norfolk Mace was transferred to the care of the Chrysler Museum of Art.

© City of Norfolk, Virginia