Adolphe Himmel Coin Silver 'Hook & Ladder Co. No 1 Galveston' Presentation Trophy Goblet, New Orleans, LA, 1857
Rare and exciting, this presentation cup was made by Adolphe Himmel in New Orleans and retailed through Hyde & Goodrich. Repousséd and engraved on the main portion of the cup is a fight scene between a warrior on horseback sporting a shield and sword and a barefoot man wielding a club.
A cartouche is bordered with lovely scrollwork with birds at the top corners and dog hunting scenes at the bottom corners. Fine chasing and textured circles create the background landscape around the bottom of the main body. The domed base also incorporates birds amongst foliage against a lined background.
Engraved in the shield is the presentation:
Hook & Ladder Co. No 1 Galveston TO Mrs. Julia Labadie A token of respect 1857
Julia A. Seymour Labadie was the 3rd wife of Nicholas Descomps Labadie, wed in 1846. Nicholas Labadie (1802-67) was a physician, pharmacist, and entrepreneur originally from Windsor, Ontario. He moved to St. Louis, MO, in 1828 to become a doctor. In 1831, Labadie headed for New Orleans, then Texas, opening a general merchandise store in Anahuac, Texas as a partner. In 1838, Labadie and his family moved to Galveston, where he practiced medicine, invested in real estate, ran a boarding house, and built the first Catholic church there. He also built a wharf and operated sailing vessels to transport lumber from Florida. (1) In other words, he was quite successful and wealthy.
The Weekly Telegraph (Houston) mentions, "Hook & Ladder company No. 1 has presented Mrs. Labadie with a silver goblet." (2) After more digging, we found an article about an extensive fire in Galveston to which the Hook & Ladder company responded. "The firemen deserve great credit for their efforts on this, as on other occasions. Mrs. Labadie is also entitled to thanks for her substantial attention to those engaged in subduing the conflagration." (3)
This rare presentation piece is marked underneath with Adolphe Himmel's 'H' mark and 'HYDE & GOODRICH/ NEW ORLEANS.' It measures 4 inches wide by just shy of 7.75 inches tall, weighs 13.25 troy ounces, and is in good antique condition. The base has been pushed down and is delicate.
Margaret S. Henson, Labadie, Nicholas Descomps (1802-1867), Texas State Historical Association Biography, originally pub. 1952, www.tshaonline.org.
The Weekly Telegraph (Houston), June 10, 1857, p. 2, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu.
Galveston Weekly News, November 23, 1857, p. 3, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu.
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