Sterling and Coin Silver Tea Service and S/P Tray presented to Civil War Navy Admiral John Ancrum Winslow, commander of the USS Kearsarge in honor of the ship's sinking of the CSS raider Alabama, one of the great Union Naval conquests of the Civil War. This set is documented as being presented to Winslow on Nov. 22, 1864 by the admiring citizens of Roxbury, Massachusetts in honor of his victory at sea five months earlier on June 19, 1864 (ref. "Death of Admiral Winslow," The Pittston Gazette, Oct. 16, 1873). The tray features an elaborately engraved inscription, "Presented to Captain John Ancrum Winslow/Commander of the U.S. Steamer/Kearsarge/By the Citizens of Roxbury/As a testimonial of their appreciation of the service he has rendered his Country/In the Destruction of the 'Alabama' [on] June 19-1864," enclosed within an engraved foliate scroll border, and is further decorated with two bead course handles and beaded and ovolo rim. The back is marked for James Dixon & Sons, London. The silver tea set accompanying the tray includes a coffee pot, two smaller tea and/or coffee pots, a sugar bowl, creamer, and waste bowl, all of Neoclassical oval design with beaded upper rims, featuring distinctive nautical wheel finials to the lids and ram head masks at the handles. All are monogrammed on one side with Winslow's monogram, JWA. All except the coffee pot are stamped SHREVE STANWOOD & CO. BOSTON STERLING to the undersides; the coffee pot is stamped with Gorham's lion-anchor-G mark and COIN with retailer mark CROSBY, HUNNEWELL & MORSE and 321. Coffee pot height: 10 1/2". Sterling items: 106.52 oz troy. Coin silver coffee pot: 30.31 oz troy. Combined weight: 136.83 oz troy. Note: Crosby, Hunnewell & Morse were in business in Boston from 1861-1863, while Shreve, Stanwood & Co were in business in Boston from 1860-1868. The design of this set was apparently popular with Bostonians in the maritime field, possibly owing to its finials. A Shreve, Stanwood & Co. sterling tea set of identical design is in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston; it was presented to Margaret Gardner of Nantucket and Harrison Loring of Duxbury as a marriage gift in 1867 by the employees of Loring's steamship works in South Boston. The Kearsarge presentation tea service has descended through the family of Admiral John Winslow and was acquired from a direct descendant in March of 2023, along with many of related items in this auction. Note: The USS Kearsarge, commissioned in 1862, was deployed to European waters during the Civil War to search for Confederate raiders disrupting the flow of goods between the US and its European trading partners. On June 19, 1864, in the Battle of Cherbourg, the Kearsarge, commanded by Captain John A. Winslow sank the CSS Alabama, commanded by Raphael Semmes, ending the career of the South's most famous commerce raider. Seventeen of Kearsarge's crew received the Medal of Honor for their actions, and Winslow and his crew were regarded as Union heroes. For more information on Winslow and the victory of the USS Kearsarge, including other objects related to the ship including flags and the ship's abstract log, see lots #561-567 in this auction. This lot will include a copy of a notarized provenance letter from the direct descendant of Admiral Winslow.
Overall excellent condition. Handles are slightly loose; ferrules with age related cracking. Poorly repaired pin to handle on coffee pot. The silver items are accompanied by what is believed to be their original pine box, which has wear and remnant of later owners' (Winslow family descendants) paper label to exterior.
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Bank: Pinnacle Bank
150 Third Avenue South, Suite 900
Nashville, TN 37201
Phone # (865) 766-3000
Swift Code: PNFPUS44
Routing, Transit, ABA: 064008637
Beneficiary: Case Antiques, Inc.
4310 Papermill Drive
Knoxville, TN 37909
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Private TN collection, acquired March, 2023 from direct descendant of USS Kearsarge commander Admiral John Ancrum Winslow (1811-1873) through his only surviving grandson Brig. Genl. Eben Eveleth Winslow, along with other items in this auction.