1879 Whiting Mfg. Co. Sterling Epergne
My grandfather and my great-grandfather were brewers in Boston. They ran the Highland Springs Brewing Company. And this was an award given to my great-grandfather, who was the president of the American Brewers Association, in recognition of all the work he did for the association. I only found it existed about 20 years ago. My mother died, and we were going through her things, and I found this big steamer trunk, and this was in it.
Wow. It was manufactured by the Whiting Silver Company in Attleborough, Massachusetts. And the inscription on the medallion on the front is inscribed 1879. GUEST Yes.
And it says, "Presented to our worthy president by the members "of the United States Brewers Association "as a token of individual respect "and recognition of eminent services rendered. "The Brewing Industry 19th Annual Convention, St. Louis, June 5, 1879." If we look around the body of it, we have these wonderful little brewer figures. This one's sitting with his foot on a keg. And we'll go around here to a medallion, which has an inscription in Latin. He's actually holding the spout of a keg here, and an inscription in German on this side. And then this fellow here, holding a wonderful stein. Now, it's a tremendously heavy piece, and I'm not about to flip it upside down, but it's clearly marked "Whiting" on the bottom. The overall piece you would call an epergne. It's way beyond its decorative appeal. It's so over the top for a trophy.
Do you have any concept of, of what it might be worth?
I only know it's pretty heavy, and I know the base is sterling. So, I don't know, a few thousand, maybe.
If I look at it in an auction setting, you have people bidding on sterling, people bidding on trophies, and people bidding on brewing memorabilia...
...now competing against one another. In my estimation, I would expect it to realize in the $12,000 to $15,000 range.
Wow-- that's impressive.
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