Wood & Hughes - The Pamela and Arthur Hopkins Coin Silver Covered Ewer, Retailed by James Conning, Mobile, Alabama, 1845-52
Covered ewers are a very rare and this is a stunning achievement in American coin silver. The hinged domed lid is surmounted with a cast and applied foliate finial and the graceful scroll handle has an applied leaf thumb-piece. Fine beading ornaments the edges of the lid and upper body.
A hooded pouring spout is centered above a large cartouche engraved 'PH' for Pamela Hopkins. Applied around the base are pierced shell and scroll feet. Exceptional all over repoussé work decorates the piece. Fluidly incorporating robust floral, foliate and scroll designs, this rare covered ewer is a tour-de-force from the Wood & Hughes shop.
The underside is engraved 'Pamela Moseley Rice/ from her grandmother/ Ellnora R. Rice/ 1956'.
Pamela Moseley married Arthur Francis Hopkins, one of the most prominent lawyers of his time who would become the fifth Chief Justice of Alabama's Supreme Court. After their 1815 marriage, they moved to Huntsville, Alabama. Arthur Hopkins helped write the Alabama state constitution and served in the state senate. He was elected by the Legislature to be one of the Judges on the Alabama Supreme Court and served as the fifth Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. Eventually resigning, he returned to his private legal practice in Huntsville, moving to Mobile in 1845. This rare covered pitcher dates from 1845 to 1852, when his wife Pamela (PH monogram), died.
James Conning was Mobile's preeminent jeweler, watchmaker and retailer of silver during the antebellum years. He also sold military goods and guns. Many of the pieces are only marked by Conning, but this wonderful ewer is also marked by the maker, Wood & Hughes, fully documenting its history.
Provenance: primarily by descent in the family.
This masterpiece is stamped twice 'W&H'. It is also marked 'J. CONNING/ MOBILE' and engraved as noted above. It measure 12 inches high by 9 inches across handle and spout, weighs an impressive 40.2 troy ounces and is in excellent antique condition with a wonderful crisp surface.
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