The inscription reads To Tom Sayers from a few admirers of English pluck, Montreal June 1860.
Born in Brighton in 1826, Sayers was one of the greats of Victorian prize fighting. Though only 5ft 8in tall and never weighing much more than 150lbs, he frequently fought much bigger men and won. In a career which lasted from 1849-60 he lost only one of 16 bouts. He was recognised as heavyweight champion of England from 1857 until his retirement.
The tankard, a good example of Canadian silver as well as a sporting collectable, was part of a collection of memorabilia from the family of Johnny Douglas (1882-1930) who won a gold medal for boxing at the London Olympic Games in 1908 and his brother, Cecil ‘Pickles’ Douglas, a Victorian boxing referee.
It sold at the top estimate of £5000 at Hansons (25% buyer’s premium) in Etwall, Derbyshire, on January 22.