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coin silver water pitcher, fire fighting interest

coin silver water pitcher, fire fighting interest
click for more pictures for item 2201

height 12 3/8 inches to top of handle; 11 1/2 to top of spout, eight lobed body with ornate floral chasing and helmet spout, weight 26 Troy ounces, some light wear to high points and a few very minor dents (these will not photograph) but fine overall condition, engraved "Presented by the Fire Department of Williamsburgh to Andrew B. Hodges, ESq., late Chief Engineere, as a Testament of their respect for his gentlemanly deportment which characterized him while in the discharge of his duty, Oct 31st 1849". Marked on base with an applied panel "Haight & Braisted," though we have reason to believe that this may refer to his colleagues rather than a silversmith's firm.

Andrew Bowne Hodges was known in his community and on the job as an exceptional individual. He served as Chief of the Williamsburg (Brooklyn) fire department for eight years, representative to the New York State legislature, Surrogate of the King's County court, and later in life Secretary and founding member of the King's County Saving's Bank. He was responsible for introducing and passing legislation which changed the fire department from a volunteer organization to a paid professional (eight hundred dollars per year, to start, in 1869) service. A man of extraordinary personal charisma and "handsome face and figure," had he lived in our era Hodges would no doubt have been front and center as a spokesman for the FDNY.

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