Punchbowls could be made out of a wide range of materials depending on the wealth and status of the drinker. This silver punchbowl was made for a member of the wealthy and prominent Marsteller family of Alexandria, Virginia. Made at a time when punch was beginning to go out of fashion, it demonstrates the family’s economic well-being and their connection to fashionable eighteenth-century forms of entertainment. This connection with the past accounts for the family tradition that the bowl originally belonged to Colonel Philip Marsteller (1742-1803), an important Revolutionary figure and a pallbearer at George Washington’s (1732-1799) funeral. However, Colonel Marsteller died in 1803, several years before John Gaither began work as a silversmith.