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Cup and cover

  • Place of origin:

    London, England (made)

  • Date:

    1821-1822 (hallmarked)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Rundell, Bridge & Rundell (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gold, cast, applied and chased and engraved

  • Museum number:

    M.42:1, 2-1982

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, room 120, case 7

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Object Type
This cup and cover was a ceremonial gift intended for display on a buffet or sideboard. It was one of a number of pieces presented by George IV (1762-1830; reigned 1820-1830) to government officials and royal attendants.

People
The cup and cover was made by the Royal Goldsmiths Rundell, Bridge & Rundell for George IV. Surviving documents record that it was for 'The Right Honourable the Earl of Ormonde & Ossory, as his fee for executing the office of Chief Butler for Ireland at the Coronation'. Ormonde was one the chief attendants at the coronation. The cup and cover cost the nation over £230.

Historical Associations
This cup and cover was one of a number of gifts that George IV gave to officials and attendants who assisted at his coronation and banquet in 1821. It was a custom for the sovereign to present gifts at the time of the coronation. The gifts included badges, mazers, and gold chains, as well as three other gold cups.

The banquet was the last traditional and the most extravagant feast of its kind ever held. For this very splendid occasion the King spent £48,152 10s 2d to borrow jewels, refurbish plate and to buy new silver and gifts from the Royal Goldsmiths. The steward's bill, mostly for food, came to over £25,000.

Physical description

Classical vase shape with finial in the form of a royal crown, the cup decorated with roses, thistles and shamrocks representing respectively, England, Ireland and Scotland, with acorns and oak leaves at the end of the handles.

Place of Origin

London, England (made)

Date

1821-1822 (hallmarked)

Artist/maker

Rundell, Bridge & Rundell (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Gold, cast, applied and chased and engraved

Marks and inscriptions

Presented at the Coronation of His Majesty King George the Fourth, 19th July, 1821 to James Butler, Earl of Ormonde and Ossory, K.S.P., as Hereditary Chief Butler of Ireland
London hallmarks for 1821-22
Mark of Rundell, Bridge and Rundell

Dimensions

Height: 22.5 cm, Diameter: 12.7 cm

Object history note

Made in London by Rundell, Bridge & Rundell

Rundell, Bridge & Rundell Exhibition RF.2005/25

Historical significance: The office of Chief Butler of England was filled by the Earls of Arundel from 1243 until 1821; The office of Chief Butler of Ireland was uniquely filled by James Butler, Earl of Ormonde at the Coronation of George IV, following the Act of Union with Ireland in 1801

Historical context note

Rundells supplied the plate including cups and other perquisites in gold or silver for all the officers of state who assisted at the Coronation ceremony. They charged £230 16s 6d for the Ormonde gold cup. A photograph sent in as an enquiry in 2009 shows the silver-gilt Coronation cup of identical form but differing inscription presented to William Wilshire, Baron of the Manor of Great Wymondley after he had presented the cup of wine to the King at the Coronation Banquet. The photograph suggests that the inscription read 'CORONATION DINNER TO HIS MAJESTY KING GEORGE IV ON THE 19th DAY OF JULY, 1821 This Cup having been delivered from His Majesty's Jewel Office to William Wilshire, Esq, Lord of the Manor of Great Wymondsley, was by him travelling to the antient tenure of the Manore presented with wine therein to His Majesty, who having drunk thereof returned the Cup to him for his fee'. Its present whereabouts unknown.

Descriptive line

Gold, London hallmarks for 1821-22, mark of Rundell, Bridge and Rundell

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Christopher Hartop, The Art of Rundell and Bridge, 1797-1843, 2005,pp.75, 156; cat.no.63

Exhibition History

Gold: Power and Allure (Goldsmiths' Hall 01/06/2012-28/07/2012)
Royal Goldsmiths: The Art of Rundell, Bridge & Rundell 1797-1830 (Koopman/Rare Arts 14/06/2005-01/07/2005)

Labels and date

British Galleries:
After his coronation King George IV (1774-1830) presented this cup to James Butler, 19th Earl of Ormonde (1774-1838), who attended him as Chief Butler of Ireland. The classical vase shape is decorated with motifs appropriate for such a patriotic occasion. They include roses, thistles and shamrocks, with acorns and oak leaves on the handles, and represent England, Scotland and Ireland. [27/03/2003]

Materials

Gold

Techniques

Engraving (incising); Casting; Chasing

Subjects depicted

Coats of arms; Roses; Crown; Shamrock; Thistles (plants)

Categories

Metalwork; Ceremonial objects

Collection code

MET

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Qr_O78582
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