BEVERLY, Mass. (AP) – A Beverly church is selling its collection of silver drinking vessels and other items that are more than a century old to finance an ongoing restoration project.
The 11 tankards, dishes, mugs and urns belonging to the First Parish Church worth an estimated $500,000 are scheduled to be auctioned at Christie’s in New York on Jan. 21.
One piece was made by Paul Revere. Another is nearly 200 years old.
Church officials tell The Salem News the decision to sell the silver was the subject of some emotional debate among parishioners. Church historian Charles Wainwright says it came down to the fact that people would rather have a church with no silver, than silver and no church.
The church was founded in 1667, and the current building that dates to 1770 is in dire need of modernization.
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