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Childs mug
  • Childs mug
    George John Cayley, born 1826 - died 1878
  • Enlarge image

Childs mug

  • Place of origin:

    England (made)

  • Date:

    ca.1850-1878 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    George John Cayley, born 1826 - died 1878 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver, raised and embossed

  • Credit Line:

    Bequest of Hugh Cayley

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

George John Cayley (1826-78), son of the MP Edward Stillingfleet Cayley, was an eccentric.. Besides dabbling in poetry and writing a light-hearted book on travels in Spain, he was a gifted artist (he illustrated some of his own books) and a craftsman known for his metalwork. In 1862 he and the painter George Frederick Watts worked together to design the challenge shield for a shooting championship at Wimbledon. He was also one of the more left-wing Cayleys of the 19th century – and a keen tennis player.

In 1870 he went to live in Algiers to try and improve his health. There he played tennis as long as his health permitted — “longer, it might be said” according to recollections of him in a 1909 edition of his Spanish travel book. This was shortly before lawn tennis as we know it became established. During spells in England he worked with a carpenter and cabinet-maker, William Button Maslen from near Swansea, to develop new types of tennis racket. In January 1875 the Edinburgh Review, which is still in existence, published his article Lusio Pilaris and Lawn Tennis, which was the first ever article on lawn tennis.

Physical description

Mug, silver, cylindrical embossed with six ears of barley, upright on a matted ground; strap handle with a seventh ear.

Place of Origin

England (made)


ca.1850-1878 (made)


George John Cayley, born 1826 - died 1878 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Silver, raised and embossed

Marks and inscriptions

Signed: George John Cayley


Height: 6.3 cm, Diameter: 2.3 in, Width: 8.5 cm, Diameter: 5.8 cm

Object history note

Bequest of Hugh Cayley, the son of the artist.

Historical context note

There is a photograph of George John Cayley, taken by Camille Silvy dated the 8th of January, 1862 in the collections of the National Portrait Gallery, London (NPG Ax56645). The photograph was taken in the photographer's studio at 38 Porchester Terrace, Bayswater.

Descriptive line

Child's mug, silver, England, no hallmarks, signed George John Cayley, ca.1850-1878.




Raising; Embossing

Subjects depicted



Children & Childhood; Drinking; Metalwork; Silver

Production Type



Metalwork Collection

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