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The ‘Blacksmith’ cup

Silver

Origin: London

Date: 1655-1656

29 cm height

Marks/Maker: London, sterling standard, 1655-6, maker’s mark IW

Provenance: Presented to the Company of Blacksmiths in 1655 by Christopher Pym, Clerk to the Company; Sir Ernest Cassel

On loan from a private collection; LI.1050.6

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.