The Paul Revere Liberty Bowl
One evening in the late ’40s, my father, Israel Sack, was taking his usual after dinner nap on the living room couch. He awoke with an idea and without a word to anyone, got up, picked up the phone and contacted the owner of the Paul Revere Liberty Bowl. The owner was willing to sell the bowl, but only to a museum.
The genesis of the bowl was: The House of Representatives had sent a Circular Letter to each of the Colonies, protesting grievances against King George III. The King demanded that the House rescind the letter, and in defiance, 92 members voted NOT TO RESCIND. In grateful recognition, 15 members of the Sons of Liberty, whose names are engraved around the rim of the bowl, commissioned Paul Revere to fashion a special gift... this bowl. It was presented to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1768.
The Liberty Bowl, as it became known, is the only piece of silver which commemorated the birth of a nation and is a priceless historic relic, as well as a thing of beauty. The inscription on the far side of the bowl, in a circular medallion, reads "No. 45/Wilkes and Liberty."
The Liberty Bowl, the tangible evidence of the start of the Revolutionary War, though privately owned, was sitting neglected in the vault of the New York Historical Society. Israel Sack felt it should be out and on display for all to see. Since the Bowl was in its vaults, he first offered the bowl for sale to the Met, who chose not to purchase it.
My father then became convinced that the bowl should belong to the city that gave it birth. He received permission from the private owner to submit the bowl to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. The Museum was delighted, but at the time, had insufficient funds to accomplish this. Finally, the funds to purchase the Bowl and present it to the Museum were raised by public subscription, and the children of Boston, led by the enthusiasm of Edwin Hipkiss and Mark Bortman, After the bowl was ensconced in Boston, both gentlemen wrote letters of appreciation to my father:
To Israel Sack
Through your original efforts the Paul Revere Bowl has come back to Boston. Thank you for your support both tangible and morally.
We are very gratefull (sic) to you for your advice and guidance
As an interesting sidelight, Paul Revere was known to have written a letter to his cousin, stating, in part:
"[The British] Parliament have declared that they will have a right to tax us & Legislate us, in all cases whatever - now certainly if they have a right to take one schilling from us without our consent, they have a right to all we possess; for it is the birthright of an Englishman, not to be taxed without consent of himself or [his] Representatives."