SOLD! for $2,560.00.
(Note: Prices realized include a buyer's premium.)
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- Low Estimate: $1,800.00
- High Estimate: $2,200.00
- Realized: $2,560.00
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The Smith Briggs Coin silver presentation tea service, Civil War and Railroad interest. Includes 4 pieces, all engraved SMITH BRIGGS: a teapot with hinged lid, cream pitcher, waste bowl, and covered sugar bowl, all with pear shaped bodies having repousse decoration of morning glory flowers and vines, laurel decorated bands at rims and around bases. Sugar bowl and teapot are accented with three-dimensional floral finials, and all pieces except waste bowl have floral chased handles. All pieces feature cartouches engraved: SMITH BRIGGS; teapot with opposite cartouche additionally inscribed: PRESENTED BY THE EMPLOYEES OF THE HUDSON R.R. CO AT EAST ALBANY SEPT. 15 1864. Signed (incuse) on underside: B. MARSH / ALBANY / J.L.W. Teapot: 12" H. Combined weight: 89.47 oz troy. Provenance: Private Indiana estate, acquired from an East Coast dealer. Note: The USS Smith Briggs was a Union Army gunboat destroyed in the American Civil War. Originally a tugboat built in East Albany, NY for the Schuyler Steam Towing Company, it was named for Smith Briggs, Freight Agent of the Hudson River Railroad. The private ship was leased by the U.S. Government for use in the Civil War and converted into a gunboat in 1863. During the Battle of Smithfield in Virginia on Feb. 1, 1864, it was hit and run aground, with its crew taken prisoner. Confederate soldiers and civilians converged on the ship and looted it, taking its eagle figurehead and anything else on board of value they could find. The ship was then set on fire and blown to bits. The exact connection of this silver tea service to the boat – including whether it was ever actually used onboard – is unknown. It may have been made after the ship's destruction as a consolation gift to Smith Briggs, the Hudson River Railroad executive for whom the ship was originally named. Condition: Excellent condition.