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Covered cup

Covered cup

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1736-1737 (hallmarked)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Jouet, Simon (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver, flat-chased, with cast handles and cast applied ornament

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Joseph Bond

  • Museum number:

    819:1, 2-1890

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 54, case 9 []

Object Type
Covered cups have always been the staple of the goldsmiths' trade, but their design and function has evolved. In the 18th century, as the two-handled cup developed into a ceremonial object, rather than a functional one, the form became fossilised.

Design & Making
The shape of this cup, a simple inverted bell, is typical of cups from the 1720s until as late as the 1780s. The leading London goldsmith, Paul de Lamerie, is most famous for producing silver in the exuberant Rococo style, which became popular in the capital from the 1730s. The technique used here on this cup and cover apparently marked for de Lamerie's fellow Huguenot goldsmith Simon Jouet of decorative mouldings applied to a plain body and lid is characteristic of the earlier and plainer Régence style (which originated in France during the regency, 1715-1723, of Philippe, duc d'Orléans). However, the elaborate cast mouldings reveal how some London goldsmiths were moving away from the simple pierced decoration favoured by earlier generations towards a more ornate style.

Ownership & Use
Covered cups were the ideal grand gift, and a popular choice of prize for sports. In particular, they were presented to and used by male societies, such as colleges or trade and craft associations. It was customary, for example, for a new member of a livery company to receive a gift of inscribed silver. As a result of their status as heirlooms, a disproportionately large number of cups have survived, compared to other categories of silver plate.

Physical description

Cup and cover, silver, with two handles. The lower portion of the body which is divided by a moulded border, is decorated with vertical bands in relief outlined by scrolls and shell devices, and enclosing floral designs. Each alternate band is united to the upper rim of the circular foot, which is ornamented with an engraved band of floral strapwork. The cover is decorated similarly to the lower portion of the cup and is surmounted by a knop.

Place of Origin

London (made)


1736-1737 (hallmarked)


Jouet, Simon (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Silver, flat-chased, with cast handles and cast applied ornament

Marks and inscriptions

London hallmarks for 1736-37

Attributed to Simon Jouet


Height: 25 cm estimated, Width: 20 cm estimated, Weight: 2.54 kg Cup and lid together approximate, Weight: 630 g lid only approximate, Weight: 1.91 kg cup only approximate

Object history note

Made in London, possibly by Simon Jouet (son of Peter Jouet, goldsmith of St Giles without Cripplegate and apprenticed to John Orchard in 1718 turned over to Thomas Folkingham in 1725. entered his first mark at Goldsmiths' Hall between 1724 and 1727, see Grimwade no.2553)

Part of a collection of English silver bequeathed to the V&A in 1890

Historical context note

Simon Jouet worked from 1725 'over against ye Victualing Office Little Tower Hill' but by 1739 had moved to the sign of the White Hart in Foster Lane. He remained in the City of London until 1755 when he moved to Kingsland. He became a member of the Honourable Artillery Company in 1749. The V&A also has a taperstick bearing Simon Jouet's mark and the date letter for 1751/2 M.108-1940 http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O104389/taperstick-jouet-simon/

Descriptive line

Silver, London hallmarks for 1736-37, attributed to Simon Jouet

Labels and date

British Galleries:
As the 18th century progressed, two-handled cups were increasingly made for display and for presentation, rather than for practical use. The elaborate mouldings on the lids and bodies of both cups in this display shows how fashionable goldsmiths of the 1720s and 1730s were moving away from plain forms and decoration towards a more ornamental style. [27/03/2003]




Raising; Chasing; Casting

Subjects depicted

Strapwork; Shells; Scroll-work; Moulding; Floral patterns




Metalwork Collection

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