Selling the mayoral family silver


THE ANNOUNCEMENT of local government reform by Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan means quite an amount of silverware – including mayoral chains of office – will become obsolete in town halls around the country from 2014. Some of the mainly Victorian regalia may eventually be sold off. In the meantime, there’s a piece of historically interesting Cork mayoral silver on the market next week.

Woodward’s auctioneers, Cook St, Cork will hold its bi-annual specialist auction of silver next Wednesday evening and the highlight is a large Victorian Sheffield silver claret jug, weighing 33ozs, which was presented to a 19th century mayor of Cork, Augustine Roche.

A wine merchant, with premises at 40 King St (now MacCurtain Street), he was elected to Cork Corporation in 1883 and held the position of Mayor of Cork in 1893 and 1894 and, later was Lord Mayor of Cork in 1904.

Following his first stint as mayor, he was presented on his retirement with a silver service and an illuminated album containing signatures of nearly 400 Cork citizens to commemorate his services as mayor.

The jug, with a domed lid, is profusely embossed and decorated with vines, flowers and scrolls and the cartouche is engraved with Cork city coat of arms and is estimated at €3,000-€5,000. It comes from a local family, descendants of Augustine Roche.

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