Item Stolen in 1975 Returned to Historical Society of Frederick County MD. The Historical Society of Frederick County is pleased to announce the return of a significant artifact that was stolen from the Society in 1975.
News-Antique.com - Nov 30,-0001 - For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark S. Hudson, Executive Director, 301-663-1188 or firstname.lastname@example.org
STOLEN ITEM RETURNED TO HISTORICAL SOCIETY COLLECTION
The Historical Society of Frederick County is pleased to announce the return of a significant artifact that was stolen from the Society in 1975. With the assistance of the Frederick Police Department, the stolen object, a pewter flagon, was recovered this morning from an auction house in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, where it had been placed for sale on consignment. “The recovery of this very important artifact is quite remarkable,” said the Society’s Executive Director, Mark S. Hudson. “We are grateful to several individuals and organizations who made this happen, including the Frederick Police Department, Pook & Pook Auctioneers, and Dr. Donald Herr who made us aware that the flagon had been placed for sale,” he added.
Hudson also acknowledged the excellent work done by Society volunteers in the 1970s to document the collections before the robbery and their efforts to publicize that these items had been stolen. “Without these efforts, the antiques community would not have been aware that the item had been stolen and we would not be able to make an unquestionable claim upon it,” Mr. Hudson remarked.
The Historical Society first became aware that that flagon was up for sale on August 12, when Dr. Donald Herr of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a noted expert and collector of pewter, notified the Society by phone. Dr. Herr, who had conducted research on the object prior to its theft, recalled receiving information about the theft in early 1975. With the full cooperation of the auctioneers, Pook & Pook of Downingtown, Pennsylvania, Hudson and the Society’s Curator, Heidi Campbell-Shoaf, examined the object on site, comparing it with the Society’s collections records. “Within minutes we were able to match up numerous markings, imperfections and other distinguishing features,” Campbell-Shoaf recalled. “We left confident that this was same piece that had been stolen from our collection in 1975,” she added
For their part, the Frederick Police Department investigated the discovery, interviewing representatives from the auction house, Historical Society staff, Dr. Herr and the individual who had placed the item for sale. Lt. Thomas Chase was instrumental in facilitating the return of the flagon. He accompanied Mr. Hudson to Downingtown this morning to recover the object.
The stolen item is a pewter flagon, a pouring vessel similar to a pitcher, that was made in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1762 by Johann Christoph Heyne. It is part of a two-piece communion set that was used at the Old Log Church in Creagerstown from 1762 until about 1834. It remained with the congregation, (the Creagerstown Reformed Church), until it was donated to the Historical Society of Frederick County on behalf of the church by the Reverend P.E. Heimer in 1942. Notable features of the flagon are the cherub’s head feet, flaring base and upturned lid and spout, all characteristic of Heyne’s work. The flagon is one of only eighteen such pieces know to exist.