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Two-handled cup and cover

1775-1776
Origin: England, London
OH: 16 5/8"; OW: 12 1/4"; OD (with lid): 6 3/4"; OD (at base): 5 3/8"
Silver (sterling)
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1985-36,A&B
Two-handled cup and cover: A stepped circular foot with beaded rim and slender neck supports an urn-shaped body with beaded rim and two foliate ear-shaped handles. Circular conical lid is surmounted by a small beaded urn-shaped finial atop a flat, beaded platform.
Label:As the inscription attests, this cup was presented by the Sea Salter Company of Fishermen to Thomas Benson for his1772 role in settling a dispute over oystering grounds in Kent, England. Benson’s heirs apparently returned the cup to the Company following his death.

Provenance:Vendor: Brand Inglis, London
Mark(s):Marked in relief on underside of base: 1) "CW" in a rectangle [Grimwade 1990 # 428 for Charles Wright]; 2) lion passant; 3) leopard's head crowned; and 4) date letter "U" for 1775-76
Inscription(s):Engraved in mixed script and block letters on the obverse of the body in an oval with swags and festoons, surmounted by an oyster shell:

The GIFT of the
Sea Salter Co. of Fifhermen
to Thos. Benson Esq. in consideration
of his Services on the Profecution of their
Oyfter Fifhery Caufe wherein a Verdict was
obtained in their favour against the
Tenants of Lord Bolingbroke on a
Special Issue between them, tried at
Maidstone Assizes before
Lord Mansfield,
the 5th day of August
1772.

Engraved on reverse with the Arms and Crest of Benson impaling another [unidentified], surrounded by the later inscription “Presented by the Family to the Company, In the year of our Lord 1803”

Engraved in script under the foot “Donors R. & I. Knock, I. Wright, E. Foreman, Is. Trevelain & R. Marlborough”

Engraved on the lid with an oyster shell amidst fronds.