Object Description

An Elkington & Company Silver Gilt Presentation Casket

Hall Marked for Birmingham, 1891 and the maker; the casket, in the Victorian Gothic manner, with cluster columns at the angles, with fascias of lancet arches dressed with trefoils, and has a canted hinged top, bearing the Manchester Coat of arms enamelled on the finial, with the motif ‘Concilio et Labore’ (Diligence and Labour), opening to reveal a silk lined interior; with inscriptions dedicating the box to Alderman Abel Heywood, JP (qv), at his being granted ‘Freedom of the City of Manchester’, contained within a glazed case bearing similar inscriptions.

Object History

Alderman Abel Heywood (1810-1893) a self-taught striver came from a poor family, possessing typical Victorian zeal to improve the lot of the working class, becoming a bookseller and publisher, notably of ‘Penny Guides’, directing workers to use the newly installed railways to improve their knowledge and vision; he appears to have been a firebrand, often at odds with authority on his chosen mission to educate the poor, and occasionally being jailed for his attempts to upset the status quo; becoming Mayor of Manchester on two occasions (1862/3 & 1866/7); in this capacity he oversaw the construction of the Town Hall, and its’ clock bell is known as ‘Great Abel’, and his self-chosen motto ‘Ring out the False, Ring in the True’.

Object Condition

Excellent

Object Classification

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