Cup and Cover

ca. 1785 (made)
Cup and Cover thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 118, The Wolfson Gallery
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
Vases, often referred to as 'cups' in contemporary silversmiths' ledgers, were used to ornament the mantelpiece in late-18th-century drawing rooms as well as dining-room buffets. A variety of materials were employed, such as silver, hardstones, ceramics and glass. Their use was purely decorative. This cup and cover consists of a coconut mounted in silver gilt and set with Jasperware medallions. Mounted coconut cups are well known in 17th-century silver, but 18th-century examples are rare.

Design & Designing
The coconut, which forms the body of the cup, has been set into fashionable Neo-classical silver mounts with swags, ribbons, medallions and acanthus leaves. Two pale blue Jasperware medallions show white reliefs of the Three Graces and Omphale, the fabled Queen of Lydia. The medallion of the Three Graces was copied from an impression of the original gem by James Tassie, a manufacturer of glass-paste cameos and intaglios, which is signed for the gem engraver, Giovanni Pichler (1734-1791). According to Raspe's Descriptive Catalogue, the source for Tassie's impression was a gem (by Pichler) in the collection of Prince Stanislas Poniatowski.

People
Inside the cup is a note inscribed 'Vase made of cocoanut, mounted in silver-gilt, with 2 Wedgwood medallions, given to Assheton Viscount Curzon, by Lord Frederick Campbell about the year 1760 '. As Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795) - whose factory made the medallions - did not begin experimenting with his Jasperware ceramic body until the 1770s, the finished object probably dates from about 1785. The coconut body may be of an earlier date. The silversmith who assembled the cup and cover has not been identified.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Cup
  • Lid
Materials and Techniques
Coconut, mounted in silver gilt; cover, stem and base of wood, mounted with silver gilt; the medallions of Jasper ware
Dimensions
  • Height: 19.7cm
  • Width: 12.1cm
Object history
Classical Ideal Exhibition RF.2009/1012
Production
Silver by an unknown maker
Summary
Object Type
Vases, often referred to as 'cups' in contemporary silversmiths' ledgers, were used to ornament the mantelpiece in late-18th-century drawing rooms as well as dining-room buffets. A variety of materials were employed, such as silver, hardstones, ceramics and glass. Their use was purely decorative. This cup and cover consists of a coconut mounted in silver gilt and set with Jasperware medallions. Mounted coconut cups are well known in 17th-century silver, but 18th-century examples are rare.

Design & Designing
The coconut, which forms the body of the cup, has been set into fashionable Neo-classical silver mounts with swags, ribbons, medallions and acanthus leaves. Two pale blue Jasperware medallions show white reliefs of the Three Graces and Omphale, the fabled Queen of Lydia. The medallion of the Three Graces was copied from an impression of the original gem by James Tassie, a manufacturer of glass-paste cameos and intaglios, which is signed for the gem engraver, Giovanni Pichler (1734-1791). According to Raspe's Descriptive Catalogue, the source for Tassie's impression was a gem (by Pichler) in the collection of Prince Stanislas Poniatowski.

People
Inside the cup is a note inscribed 'Vase made of cocoanut, mounted in silver-gilt, with 2 Wedgwood medallions, given to Assheton Viscount Curzon, by Lord Frederick Campbell about the year 1760 '. As Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795) - whose factory made the medallions - did not begin experimenting with his Jasperware ceramic body until the 1770s, the finished object probably dates from about 1785. The coconut body may be of an earlier date. The silversmith who assembled the cup and cover has not been identified.
Collection
Accession Number
815:1, 2-1891

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
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