Paul Stryker, writing from NC, must have Googled “Riverton Gun Club” and landed on our page.
He asked about the value of a prize won by an ancestor at a shooting match in 1900.
We do love a history mystery.
Pressed for more information, Paul sent these three photos of an exquisite cut-glass crystal bowl with a tarnished silver rim, marked “Hamilton and Diesinger” and “sterling.”
An internet search turned up Hamilton & Diesinger at 1208 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, manufacturers and retailers of sterling and silver-plated wares that dissolved in 1899 after eighteen years in business. Gimbel Bros. Department Store sold off what stock remained of the original company.
Piecing together bits from online newspaper archives and our own resources, it appears that Harry T. Ducker of Baltimore County, MD was an amateur marksman who inherited wealth from his father, George E. Ducker of Reisterstown, MD.
Harry traveled so much that he usually stayed in hotels and did not have a permanent residence. Newspaper accounts of his many shooting matches span over 20 years from c1884-1906.
Harry T. Ducker was a Governor of the Baltimore Shooting Assn., a member of Maryland’s State Game and Fish Protective Assn., a Pythian Knight who participated in tournaments, and a member of Riverton Gun Club, where he participated in several matches besides winning the bowl. His portrait is in the Riverton Gun Club History book.
A check of the Riverton Gun Club History book and The Sporting Life newspaper confirms that Harry T. Ducker did indeed win a “…cut-glass silver braced punchbowl with a dozen glasses.”
The newspaper trail for Harry T. Ducker dims after his shooting competition days. He spent his last days in Englewood, NJ.
The obit for the retired linen importer made no mention of his exhilarating days as a competitive marksman.
Author and “social forecaster” John Naisbitt famously declared, “Value is what people are willing to pay for it.” So what will someone pay for this antique crystal punchbowl?
A 2011 auction listing for a much smaller Hamilton & Diesinger crystal fruit bowl is the only comparable item I found.
Please comment below or email us at email@example.com if you have an opinion or interest in Paul Stryker’s punchbowl. -JMc
We have covered the Riverton Gun Club before on these pages.
…and in the pages of our newsletter, the Gaslight News.
Click to access 121-Gaslight-News-Mar-2006-p1-6.pdf
…and in a slideshow, “Do You Remember?” that has a section about the Gun Club.