James D. Julia, Inc.

Fine Art, Asian & Antiques Division
Auction Dates
Important silver beaker by Jacob Hurd (active 1702-1758) of Boston, a patriarch of the Hurd family of silversmiths which included his sons Benjamin and Nathaniel. Made in 1740 prior to heightened tensions with the British.Click to see more highlights.
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Tony Greist and Martin Willis Podcasts are quickly replacing the Broadcast radio. You no longer need to listen to the same songs played over and over without variety. Podcasts now allow you to choose what you want to listen to. Martin Willis from our Woburn Office has his own podcast and you will be able to click on it to hear our own Tony Greist in the Fine Arts, Asian, & Antiques Division talk about the Church Silver in our upcoming auction.

You can call Tony at 207-453-7125, or email us at antiques@jamesdjulia.com.

Tony Greist has been with Julia's for 6 years as the Assistant Sales Coordinator in the Fine Art, Asian and Antiques Division. He has 40+ years of full time experience.

Classical Two Handle Loving Cup Classical Two Handle Loving Cup
This important early American silver two handle loving cup was made by John Jones (active 1809- 1822) of Boston, Massachusetts at the request of Joseph Lawrance of Woburn in 1822. Silver pieces were often gifted to the church in lieu of monetary donations to ensure the value of the gift.
The Importance and Origins of Church Silver Collections in New England
In New England during the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries, the church was the center of the local community. Not only was it the location for religious ceremonies, it was also the center of social life for the community, and served as a "de facto" town hall. Many people heard the reading of the Declaration of Independence for the first time from the pulpit of their local church. So important was the church to the community and culture that a town was not "recognized" by the state until a proper church had been organized and built.

During this time in American history, we didn't have a stable and secure financial system. Many states issued their own currency, and the "Continental" currency was notoriously problematic. There was no method of collecting funds to support the Revolutionary war from the states, and the British had a covert program focused on counterfeiting the Continental dollar. Rampant inflation ensued such that the Continental dollar had deflated by 80% in a few short years. Needless to say, the financial planners of that era had a lot of balls to juggle!

So imagine that you are a successful New Englander who wants to support their local

church, both to show the prosperity of the local community, as well as a method of providing wealth to help the church survive in times of economic challenge. What do you do?

The answer came in the form of fine silver pieces. Silver was recognized as the most valuable metal available to most New England communities. The local silversmiths were recognized as the most talented craftsman and artists of their era. Many pieces of church silver were created by Paul Revere and his contemporaries of Revolutionary War fame.

It became common for the wealthy families of the day to commission sterling silver communal loving cups and beakers and donate them to the church. Of course, the names of the donors were engraved on the front of the cup to acknowledge their generosity and humanity.

Church Silver
Over the course of the past several hundred years, the wisdom of our founders is evident in this decision. Many "church silver" collections are still intact, and serving their dual roles as a "safety net" for their church, as well as a testament to their communities. The timeless beauty of these collections is frequently on display at museums such as the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

This August, Julia's and a lucky few winning bidders will be a part of this history. The First Congregational Church of Woburn is in need of funds to maintain their church. Their forefathers donated eight loving cups and beakers that are still with the church today. According to church Trustee Ed Peterson, "We need the funds from the silver sale to repair the church and restore the front so it again represents the legacy of the congregation and its community. It is church leadership's hope that these highly visible projects will energize our existing parishioners, encourage contributions, and attract new families to our organization."

Talk about planning ahead!

www.jamesdjulia.com | antiques@jamesdjulia.com

At James D. Julia, Inc. we are always seeking high quality antiques of all types for our year-round auctions. We offer the best seller commission rates in the industry, as low as 0% for high value items and collections. Please contact us directly at 207-453-7125 (Maine office) or 781-460-6800 (Boston area office) to learn more or if you are considering consigning one item, an entire collection or an estate to auction. All inquiries are confidential and without obligation.