SOLD! for $3,120.00.
(Note: Prices realized include a buyer's premium.)
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- Low Estimate: $2,000.00
- High Estimate: $2,500.00
- Realized: $3,120.00
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Gorham coin silver water pitcher and two goblets, all monogrammed "Alcorn" and descended in the family of James Lusk Alcorn, KY politician, Confederate General, Governor of Mississippi, and U.S. Senator. Pitcher, marked with early Gorham Lion-anchor-G marks and stamped 290 COIN, features a draped ribbed handle with Bacchus or Satyr mask; a flared, scalloped rim and spout; acanthus, egg and dart banding at neck, and a body with elaborate Rococo style repousse floral bouquets and central cartouche with engraved monogram ALCORN, all on a ribbed, spreading footring. 11" H. 39.17 oz troy. Goblets are unmarked with beaded rims, grape clusters, leaves and vine motifs surrounding cartouches engraved ALCORN, and beaded foot rings. 6 5/8" H. 11.75 oz troy. Combined weight: 50.92 oz troy. Provenance: Private Indiana collection, acquired from Benjamin Solomon Antiques of Indianapolis, who acquired the pieces from the great grandson of Gov. Alcorn. Note: The High Victorian style pitcher bears a strong resemblance to the Gorham silver tea set acquired by First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln in 1861, with its masks, Rococo floral vignettes, and naturalistic leaf forms. That pattern was not made expressly for the White House but is believed to have been an off-the-shelf item. Ref. Charles H. Carpenter, "Gorham Silver," pp. 54-57. Biography: James Lusk Alcorn was born in Illinois, and attended college in Kentucky. He served in the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1843 before moving to Mississippi, where he set up a law practice in Panola County. His practice flourished, allowing him to amass large holdings of land and slaves. A Whig, he served in the Mississippi House of Representatives and Mississippi Senate in the 1840s and 50s, and initially opposed Secession. But when the Civil War began, he joined the Confederacy and served as a Brigadier General for 18 months. Two of his sons died during the war. Alcorn managed to hold on to his wealth by trading cotton with the North, and by the time the war ended, he was estimated to be one of the 50 wealthiest men in the South. Now a Republican, Alcorn supported suffrage for Freedmen, endorsed the 14th Amendment, and became the leader of the Scalawags. He was elected Governor of Mississippi in 1869 and served until 1871, when he resigned to become a U.S. Senator. An advocate of education, he supported (segregated) public schools for African American students and a new college for African American students in Mississippi, now known as Alcorn University. Although a former slaveholder himself, he called slavery "a cancer upon the body of the Nation". Alcorn lived and died at his plantation, Eagle's Nest, in Coahoma County. He was married to Mary C. Stewart of Kentucky and, following her death in 1849, to Amelia Walton Glover of Alabama. He is buried in the cemetery on his family's former property; the house was destroyed by fire many years ago. Source: National Governor's Association website; Congressional Globe, 42 Congress 2 Session, pp. 246-247; Eric Foner, "Reconstruction" (1988). Condition: Overall very good condition. Pitcher: several scattered minor scratches and very small dents, under 1/4". Goblets: The section of foot next to the base of the stem has a lower profile on one goblet than the other, possibly a result of dents being repaired or possibly as made (they are otherwise identical). Goblets otherwise in excellent condition with minimal scratching and a few tiny dents. No additional monograms (other than Alcorn) or monogram removal on any of the pieces.