Large 19th century ceremonial silver loving cup and cover

By Hunt & Roskell (English, founded 1843)


This highly decorative antique cup and cover is a large ‘loving cup’, a traditional piece of drinkware that was used in ceremonial contexts.


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This large ceremonial cup and cover is filled with intricate decorative elements.

The removable domed cover is surmounted by armorial decoration, which includes an etched family crest, as well as an impressively moulded crown finial. On either side of the cover stand a lion and a stag, both reared up on their hind legs in a display of fortitude. A small swan sits in between them on the obverse side.

Below, the main body of the cup features four frieze panels, which are separated by lattice and foliate moulding that is reminiscent of acanthus leaves. The four square chased panels depict a sailing ship, a group of soldiers with a cannon, a group of figures collecting bread, and horses pulling a sleigh respectively. Each panel is rendered in impressive detail, emphasising the skill of the maker. Similar decorative panels adorn the squared base; two with floral designs and another depicting a portrait of an unidentified gentleman in an oval reserve.

The history of the ‘loving cup’ dates back to the Saxon era, and over the following centuries, the cup became a hallmark of many ceremonies as a symbol of the future prosperity of its drinkers. The cups are often engraved with personal messages from the gifter to the gifted, making them family heirlooms of immense personal value that are often passed down through generations.

This cup was gifted to mark a christening, which can be gleaned from the inscribed panel on the base. The inscription reads ‘To Louise Angela Eunice De Winton. This loving cup in future remembrance from her godmother Angela Baroness Burdett Coutts 1881. May childhood's early grace develop to womanhood's full perfection and may she grasp the Christian Cross with a hand as gentle as her mother's and fearless as her father's.' The sheaves of corn which decorate the stem and the lid add to this sentiment, symbolising fertility and new life.

The cup is signed on the underside ‘HUNT & ROSKELL LATE STORR & MORTIMER 8115’. Hunt & Roskell were a renowned silversmiths that succeeded the famed silversmith Paul Storr. The company held the royal warrant of Queen Victoria for many years.

This highly ornate and deeply personal item is filled with charm, and would make a fantastic addition to any collection of antiques.


Artist / Maker
By Hunt & Roskell (English, founded 1843)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Late 19th Century
Sterling Silver
Metallic, Silver


40 cm / 15.7 inches
13.5 cm / 5.1 inches
13.5 cm / 5.1 inches
2120 g


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