HOME VIEW BY SUBJECT VIEW BY ARTIST ITEMS OF INTEREST CURRENT EXHIBITION CONTACT
HISTORY CATALOGUES
The Green Tree: Highlights from the Collection of the Mutual Assurance Company of Philadelphia - April 2007
 
 
painting
 
George B. Sharp

Prize Speaking Horn, c. 1867
Sterling silver, 24 1/2 inches long
Stamped on inside: “George Sharp” and “Sterling”
Inscribed on front:“prize fire horn presented to the harmony fire company co. no. 6 having received the highest number of votes at a fair held at the assembly buildings for the benefit of st. teresa's church dec. 1867.”
References: Garvan and Wojtowicz 1977, 119, color pl.
RS 6330


As the inscription indicates, this ornate sterling silver speaking horn was presented to the Harmony 6 Fire Company (known as “The Big Six”) in recognition of its efforts to raise money to build a Roman Catholic school for the St. Teresa of Avila Church and parish. The church’s pastor Father Hugh Lane organized a two-week fair in 1867 to raise funds for the school, and enlisted the aid of the predominantly Irish Catholic Moyamensing Fire Company as well as the mostly Protestant Harmony 6. Volunteer fire companies took part in such community activities and avidly competed for tokens of recognition such as this horn.

The horn was made by the Philadelphia silversmith George B. Sharp and displayed at the fair. The Catholic Standard on December 14, 1867, reported that “amongst the articles attracting much attention is the splendid Fire Horn which we last week referred to and is attracting the attention of several fire companies.” The horn bears a portrait of St. Teresa of Avila, the sixteenth-century Spanish Carmelite nun, mystic, and writer for whom the parish was named. Father Lane’s efforts were successful, and the school was built in 1868.


  


Copyright©2007 The Schwarz Gallery

The Schwarz gallery is not responsible for any errors or omissions contained in this web site.