The maker of the early 17th-century Nuremberg standing cup
and cover acquired by George IV and displayed at Carlton House has been reidentified following recent scholarship on Nuremberg makers' marks.
A standing cup
in the exhibition is from a range launched by the London firm of Liberty & Co.
Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery has acquired this silver gilt Charles I standing cup
, made in London in 1641, as its share in saving a major private collection for the nation.
A Millennium Vase commissioned by the Birmingham Assay Office as a commemorative piece, and made by Andrew Macgowan, of Regent Silversmiths, of Birmingham, to a design by the current Assay Master, Michael Allchin; A Liberty Cymric standing cup
Pictures courtesy of The Birmingham Assay Office Collection; A superb Mathew Boulton silver tea caddy; A Nathaniel Mills vinaigrette shaped like a purse; Cymric candlesticks decorated with an inscription around their bases joined by stylised bats; Silversmiths at work
Previously, ships were named with a "standing cup
" of precious metal, which was then thrown overboard.
Many of these were enamelled and chased and most bore Sandys' arms, though two entries suggest royal gifts: the cover of a 'litle low standing cup
' was engraved with a pomegranate, Catherine of Aragon's symbol, and a pair of square salt cellars bore fleurs-de-lis and could have derived from diplomacy with the French.
His other children inherited his 'standing cup
of silver guilte' and 'my large Nest of silver bowles guilt', and further nests of bowls and pots, giving some indication of the luxury enjoyed in their prosperous home in the City of London.
These standing cups
have been made since Tudor times, but as the silver was not terribly good quality, most have been lost or destroyed.
Some of these pieces have forms that are distinctively English: thistle cups, for instance, with their unusual diamond faceting, giving a prickly heraldic makeover to the ovoid bowl shape often preferred in standing cups
. Another notably English type is the conical flagon with a long, stretched neck, known as a 'pilgrim bottle' because of its resemblance to those flasks carried by travellers to the Holy Land; often created in pairs, these were particularly apt gifts.