Recently, we have been helping with items belonging to a direct descendant of John Hartwell Cocke (1780-1866). He was a brigadier general in the Virginia militia during the War of 1812, and is also known for having helped Thomas Jefferson start the University of Virginia.
This particular coin silver tea service belonged to his son General Philip St. George Cocke (1809-1861), an officer in the Confederate army. The service has the retailer’s mark of William Mitchell of Richmond and the maker’s mark of G. Eoff, a New York silversmith. It is also monogrammed “C” (for Cocke) and was commissioned for General Cocke’s wedding to Sallie Elizabeth Courtney Bowdoin in 1834.
You never know what you’ll find wrapped in a sheet in the back of a closet—which is where we found this tea set during a recent clean out. The auction house had already completed their main move. We hired our local helpers to get the house broom-clean and then haul items to charity and the dump. Ken found the coin silver digging through the storage areas. Stuff-nerds never stop looking....curiosity may have been bad for the cat but sometimes it leads to great finds. This tea service along with many other important objects will be offered at Brunk Auctions in Asheville, NC in the near future. Recommending and working with great auction houses is valuable part of our services.