This unique, one-of-a-kind tankard mug was commissioned for the members of the Kansas City Lodge No 26, B P O Elk Club, circa 1900. It is signed by the artist, "G. Runyan", who was either an accomplished home-studio artist or an artist associated with a professional decorating studio of the period. The mug captures eight Colonial gentlemen dancing while enjoying their ale in a scene surrounding the mug. Along the top of the mug is depicted various buildings, trees and the blades of a windmill. The rim is decorated with gold.
Kansas City Lodge No. 26 was instituted on June 8, 1884 with fifteen original members. The lodge was originally housed in the Knight of Phythias Hall at Sixth and Main Streets. They continued renting quarters with their final rental location being a little room in the New York Life Building. In 1898 the membership considered purchasing their own building. No Fraternal Order in the United States had ever attempted such a thing. Later that year, the lodge purchased an ornate building at Seventh Street and Grand Avenue. The building was known as the "Wisconsin Building". The building was originally erected by the State of Wisconsin for display at the 1893 Chicago Worlds' Fair. After the fair, the building was purchased by J.C. Rogers, a Wamego, Kansas, banker. He had the Wisconsin Building torn down, shipped to Kansas City and rebuilt in 1894. It first operated as the Wisconsin Club, then as an annex to the Midland Hotel prior to Kansas City Elks' Lodge No. 26 purchasing the building. In 1907 an addition was added to the building that included a lodge meeting room, gymnasium and swimming pool.
The mug measures 5" in height, 3 1/4" across top and 3 1/8" across the base. It is stamped in green "J.P. over L. over France", a mark used by the Jean Pouyat Limoges Company from 1894-1931; and lettered in gold "K.C. - B.P.O. Elk - No. 26". There are no cracks, chips or repairs; an insignificant nick on the inside edge of the rim (see photo). This could be the last remaining example in existence.
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