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Cup and cover

Gold (22ct)

Origin: London

Date: 1675-1676

20.7 cm overall height; 15.7 cm height of cup; 25.3 cm width across handles; 1569 g weight

Marks/Maker: London, gold/sterling standard, 1675-6, maker's mark of Jacob Bodendeich; later engraved inventory mark F&C, baron's coronet

Provenance: (By tradition), Conyers D'Arcy (d. 1758); by descent to the Countess of Yarborough (early twentieth century)

Lent by Lady Diana Miller, 2003; LI.215.2

T. Schroder (2009), no. 59

The origins of this remarkable cup are unknown and it has so far proved impossible to find any documentary evidence for its ownership prior to 1907, when it was published as the property of the Countess of Yarborough (Baroness Fauconberg and Conyers). However, by family tradition it has always been known as the 'Master of the Horse's Cup'. This refers to Sir Conyers D'Arcy who, although never holder of that title, was appointed by Queen Anne to carry out the role when the Duke of Somerset resigned in 1712. The cup belongs to a very small group of fewer than thirty surviving pieces of English seventeenth-century gold plate and is the largest of all the secular pieces in this group by a wide margin. It is one of two surviving gold cups marked by Bodendeich. The other is the Bowes cup of the same year in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Information derived from T. Schroder, British and Continental Gold and Silver in the Ashmolean (2009)

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