This is the ultimate item for the collector of Americana, Pewter, or fine rarities. Can you just image the feeling of holding such a historic object and piece of history in you hand?
Few examples from George Washington ever come to market. Most have been long owned by museums. This beaker is rare and unusual for many reasons; it is one of the few surviving pieces that were enameled, crafted by the Master Pewter-smith - George Coldwell a New York Pewter craftsman in the 18th Century. According to tradition, President Washington gave this to his body servant “Billy”. Billy was a slave and Washington’s personal assistant and accompanied him on many travels, including many important battles. Billy was the only owned slave being set free when President Washington died.
This beaker appears in several Pewter books of the 20th century and was featured in an article by Percy E. Raymond in the New York Sun, 1936. Mr. Raymond was the founder of the premier pewter club in America and pewter collecting was his personal passion. He was the ultimate scholar and authority and was instrumental having this beaker appear in the Harvard Tercentenary Exhibit, 1936. In recent times is was exhibited for six years at the Winterthur Museum, Delaware. Don Fennimore, curator at Winterthur (expert on American metal) wrote an extensive article on this beaker, whereby it was tested extensively to see if it conformed to American pewter standards of this time. Although to the naked eye the enamel looks black, it shows as black-green under magnification.
Stamped on its base Coldwell. Approximately 3 1/3” High.