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Antique 1905 Reed & Barton Presentation Pitcher Set US Politics Arkansas Senate

  • $ 2,45000


Antique quadruple silver plate Reed & Barton presentation tilting water pitcher and goblets set. Dated to 1905 this was presented as a gift to the then president of the Arkansas Senate A W Covington (1869-1929) by the Senate perhaps for his inauguration to that position. Inscribed with the names of the 36 members on 4 panels and decorated with high Art Nouveau relief style throughout. The imagery incorporates true early Nouveau images such as herons, lily ponds and high reeds which are suggestive of Japonesque in origins (the origins of Art Nouveau) Alonzo Webb Covington was an important American political member who was one of the first senate members to be implicated in the Boodling scandal of 1905-1908.

The Boodle Scandal of 1905–1908 dealt with pervasive bribery (“boodle” is a slang term for bribe money) in the 1905 Arkansas General Assembly uncovered by Lewis Rhoton, prosecuting attorney for the Sixth Judicial District (Pulaski and Perry counties).

The highest-profile bribery cases arose from funding construction of the new Arkansas State Capitol building, a project of much political controversy. Without confessions, proving guilt of bribery was difficult and largely depended upon accomplices turning state’s evidence. One of two state senators accused of bribery, Alonzo Webb Covington was lucky in avoiding a prison sentence of 2 years and a fine of $200.

Before investigations had concluded, Rhoton mistakenly rushed the trial of Senator Covington, president of the 1905 Arkansas Senate. This mistake, combined with the senator’s strong denial of guilt, led to an acquittal verdict. A second trial for perjury resulted in a hung jury. Covington was never retried. In the first trial, Covington benefited from a much criticized ruling, based on an Arkansas law that distinguished testimony of accomplices from other witnesses, when Judge Robert Lea instructed jurors to discount admissions by Tom Cox, Marcus D. L. Cook, and George W. Caldwell that they gave Covington bribes.

Engraved on top: Presented to A W Covington President of the Senate, Little Rock ARK 1905

Names of senate members engraved in 4 panels around the top

Marked on base of cup: Gilt Mf'd & plated by Reed & Barton 2415
Marked inside pitcher: Reed & Barton
Marked on base of pitcher: Trademark stamp Mf'd & plated by Reed & Barton 2415
Marked on base of stand: Mf'd & plated by Reed & Barton 379

A great addition to your rare silver plate or Political collection.


Pitcher on stand measures 9.75" wide by 10" deep (11" jug depth) by 19.75" tall and weighs 16lb 1oz.


This tilting pitcher is in good condition. There is some plate loss on the base on the top of the base corners in 2 sections and the porcelain insert is missing from the base (please see all photographs as they form part of the description).


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