The 'Bacon' cup
29 cm height; 19.5 cm width
Marks/Maker: London, sterling standard, 1573-4, maker's mark of Affabel Partridge
Heraldry: Crest of Bacon
Provenance: Sir Nicholas Bacon; Sir Ernest Cassel
On loan from a private collection; LI.1050.5
This is one of three cups made from the silver of the Great Seal of England for Sir Nicholas Bacon (1509-1579), Keeper of the Seal to Queen Elizabeth I. He had received the defaced Great Seal of Queen Mary as a pre-requisite of office. This cup was for his house in Stiffkey, Norfolk. The boar finial is the Bacon family crest.
This piece is part of an important silver collection formed by Sir Ernest Cassel (1852-1921). Cassel was a German immigrant who reportedly arrived in England at the age of 17 with no more than a bag of clothes and a violin. Within fifteen years he was one of the most prominent financiers in Europe, contributing hugely to Britain's prosperity prior to the First World War. He was made private financial advisor and treasurer to King Edward VII in 1902.