William Gale & Son, New York, Chased Coin Silver Mug, 1850s
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Octagonal in shape, this mug is slightly diminutive. It stands 3" to the rim, 3 1/2" to the highest point of the handle, has a top opening 2 3/4" across, a rimmed bottom that is 1 7/8" in diameter, and weighs 2.9 T. oz.
It was made by New York City's William Gale, who operated in various partnerships over a long history. This has double marks for one of the associations, "William Gale & Son." One of the stamps includes a diamond imprinted with the date "185x," with the final number obscured.
The form is octagonal, with a beaded edge top and beaded rim base. The sidewalls have a raised, i.e. chased, period flower, leaf, and scroll design. The hollow handle is cyma shaped.
A quality made piece, and fully characteristic of its time, its unused condition offers a direct sighting of how such items presented in their mid 19th century setting. Apart from one obscure crease in the lower corner, there is no evidence this was ever used. This, plus the fact that it was never inscribed, raises the possibility that it never found an end user. The overall finish is bright and smooth, and the handle is without splits or dents, and remains securely attached to the body.
Whatever this piece's history, it is to today's advantage to have such a pristine piece, with its unobscured line of access to the past, available.