1774 English Silver Soup Tureen
Well, I got it from my mom, who got it from my grandmother. My grandmother was orphaned at age eight and she was taken in as a ward of the Cyrus McCormick family. Her family had been friends with the family, and when her parents died, they took her and her three brothers in, and so, fortunately, our family has a lot of really interesting, special things that originally belonged to the McCormick family, and this is one of them.
What you have here is a very fine English silver soup tureen made in 1774 in London. It's a little difficult to figure out the maker's mark. It's not one of the better-known makers, but it's the nicest piece I've seen today. The casting is very beautiful. It's solid silver. This piece weighs 94 ounces, the cover and base, and it probably weighed close to 100 ounces when it was made. But over the years, the polishing takes a little bit of the silver away.
It is a wonderful cast finial here, and here we have the crest. That's the family crest, and below we have the coat of arms. Most people get these confused and they call the whole thing the "coat of arms" or the "crest," but you actually have two separate parts.
Would it have been used for soup? Would they actually have used it?
Absolutely, mm-hmm. And it would have been part, probably, of a great big service. And an auction value on this piece, properly researched, with the coat of arms researched and the maker's mark, will be between $10,000 and $15,000.
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