Francis W. Cooper American Coin Silver Wine Wagon or Trolley, New York City, 1849-54
Featuring wonderful repousséd decoration of grapes and vines along the rims and roses, thistle and shamrock on the bodies, this exceptional piece is the only known example of this form in American coin silver.
It is formed with two connected coasters with die-rolled band circles on each side to hold decanter stoppers. Each coaster supported with an axle connecting two wheels on each side. The front one turns for steering, the handle resembling the tongue of a wagon to harness horses.
It is engraved with the armorial badge and monogram of Moore or Muir in a cartouche at each end.
The wheels of the wagon closely resemble the wheels of a covered wagon or 'prairie schooner.' The rose, thistle and shamrock are traditional symbols of British union. We speculate that placing these on an object resembling an American covered wagon was meant to symbolize an American identity for the Anglo/ American owners of the piece. In other pieces of New York silver from this period, we've been able to document such symbolism.
Francis W. Cooper was the preeminent American maker of ecclesiastical silver during the 3rd quarter of the 19th century. Important pieces by him can be found in churches, cathedrals and museums. His domestic silver is rarely seen.
Measuring a bit over 24 inches long (each coaster is 8 inches in diameter), this wine wagon is marked on the top of the handle in rectangular cartouches 'F.W.C.', 'N.Y.' and 'Palmer & Newcomb', the retailer. Underneath the handle, it is again marked by the retailer. It is in very good antique condition with later wooden bases added above the original ones. Please phone for details.
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