Wood & Hughes Silver Regatta Trophy, ca. 1870

Value (2010) | $3,000 Auction$4,000 Auction

I have a master butter keeper or master butter dish, coin silver, but it was given as a sailing trophy in a regatta in Biloxi.

What do you know about that regatta?

I know that it was held on August 29, 1870 in the Mississippi Sound out from a pier at Biloxi, Mississippi.

You can actually tell that the winning boat was called Minnie. And it has "Minnie" actually engraved right here on the front. They've also put in the little tiny flag up here with the name "Minnie." Had you ever noticed that before?

To tell you the truth, I had not.

And it also... and it also says "first prize." And if we spin it around, we can see the information about the regatta. It is a true Victorian piece of silver.

Wow, I didn't know that.

And that is characterized by the decoration of it being related to its function. As you said, it's a butter dish. But it's also interesting in that it's decorated with these little engraved sailing ships. You see them all around the top here. And then they're also on the bottom, the inside of it. And with the little waves as well. It was made by Wood & Hughes. And what do you know about Wood & Hughes?

It's a silversmith who was in New York from the 1830s to the 1870s.

Exactly. This was just after the Civil War that a piece of silver made in New York would be found in a Southern event. Because, of course, the Civil War decimated the South.

That's right.

There wasn't a lot of silver made in the South, and whenever we do see silver in the South, it's often by Southern coin silversmiths. A lot of it was made abroad and shipped south. This would have been really expensive back then. Would you mind telling me what you paid for it?

Well, my husband found it and I think he paid around a thousand.

And when was that?

In 1982.

If this were to come up for sale at auction or in a private circumstance, because I think it's probably worth about the same in both instances, I think today it would bring about $3,000 to $4,000.

Great, great. That's great.

Appraisal Details

Doyle New York
Washington, DC
Appraised value (2010)
$3,000 Auction$4,000 Auction
Biloxi, MS (July 24, 2010)
19th Century

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