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Canadian Museum of Civilization successful in its bid to acquire an historic silver tankard at auction







Canadian Museum of Civilization successful in its bid to acquire an historic silver tankard at auction

 Gatineau, January 21, 2010 — The Canadian Museum of Civilization is delighted to announce its successful purchase at Christie’s Auction House today of the silver tankard owned by prominent United Empire Loyalist John Stuart.

The tankard was made by silversmith Elias Boudinot in 1742, to celebrate the marriage of George Okill and Anne Clarke of Philadelphia. Their daughter, Jane, inherited the piece. In 1775, Jane married Reverend John Stuart, a special missionary to the Mohawk at Fort Hunter, New York. Here Stuart worked closely with Mohawk leader Joseph Brant in translating parts of the Bible into the Mohawk language.

During the American Revolution, the family fled to Canada.  Eventually settling in the Kingston area, Stuart continued his work as a missionary, opened the first school in what would become Upper Canada, and was an influential member of the “Family Compact.” At his death, the tankard was inherited by his son, Sir James Stuart. Sir James had a distinguished legal career as Chief Justice of Lower Canada, a member of the Legislative Assembly and Chief Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench, and helped to frame the Act of Union of 1840. In 1969, the tankard was discovered in a London vault where it had lain since 1908.

The Museum is very proud to add this important artefact, privileged witness of a page from our history, to the Museum’s collection”, says Dr. Victor Rabinovitch, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation. “Once more, it’s the support Museums’ of the National Collection Fund that allowed us to preserve and promote our heritage for the benefit of present and future generations.

The Fund, which is an ongoing fundraising initiative, established in 2005 by the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation, enables the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Canadian War Museum to acquire artifacts that might otherwise be lost to Canadian national heritage.

The Canadian Museum of Civilization is the centre for research and public information on the social and human history of the country. Located on the shores of the Ottawa River in Gatineau, Quebec, the Museum is Canada’s largest and most popular cultural institution, attracting more than 1.3 million visitors each year. The Museum of Civilization’s principal role is to preserve and promote the heritage of Canada for present and future generations, thereby contributing to the promotion and enhancement of Canadian identity.

 

Media Information:

Chief, Media Relations
Canadian Museum of Civilization
Tel.: 819 776-7167

Media Relations Officer
Canadian Museum of Civilization
Tel.: 819 776-7169

Fax: 819 776-7187

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