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Earl of Lonsdale Silver Gilt Stirrup Cup, 1788 - The Durban Stirrup Cup     Order Form     Request more information
Reference: S1720
Period: George V
Year: 1926
Silversmith: W. Spurrier & Co
Place: Birmingham
Price: $ 3 100.00
Weight: 151 grams
Dimensions: 30.3 cm, diameter 3 cm
Condition: Excellent, perfectly preserved in original box. Box also good condition, but key missing, minor damage to wood where lock has been forced open.

Description: A rare and unusual silver gilt stirrup cup, a later replica of one of the earliest forms of stirrup cups, prior to the rise in popularity of the better known fox and animal head stirrup cups. It consists of a small banded beaker shaped cup (3.5 cm height), suitable for sherry, on top of a long, tapered silver handle, with wonderful textured patterns for improved grip. The cup is engraved "THE DURBAN STIRRUP CUP - PRESENTED BY THE EARL OF LONSDALE IN COMMEMORATION OF THE KINDNESS RECEIVED FROM ALL DURING HIS VISIT TO SOUTH AFRICA". The shield is engraved "REPLICA OF THE EARL OF LONSDALE'S STIRRUP CUP AD 1788" The handle is divided into 4 sections, separated by a protruding ring, the 3 rings are not gilded, which provides a nice contrast. The top section has alternating floral bands, the second barley-twist ribbing, the 3rd is similar to the first but with flowers reversed, the 4th a thicker barley-twist with additional texture to alternating band. The end is capped with a suspension ring, with original hallmarked ring. The handle is fully hallmarked for Birmingham 1926, with makers mark WS in diamond shaped punch with circles on each point, for W Spurrier & Co. The cup, which unscrews from the handle, is also hallmarked with lion passant and date letter, the engraving overrides these hallmarks. The stirrup cup has been preserved in its original wooden box (oak?), with blue velvet lining, and silver rectangular plaque (not engraved), and silver bar with retailers details inside, which is engraved "H. LEIGHTON PIPER, 4 LLOYDS AVENUE, LONDON EC3". Hugh Lowther, the 5th Earl of Lonsdale, who presented this cup, was an interesting character, he lived between 1857 and 1944, he became Earl in 1882, on the death of his elder brother. The first Earl Lonsdale (William), 1757-1844, was a British MP, nobleman, Knight of the Garter, he made his money in coal, he built Lowther Castle. He was keen on fox hunting, and was Master of Cottesmore Hunt between 1788 and 1842, so the original was probably made when he became Master. The 5th Earl, Hugh, is the best known of the Earls of Lonsdale, was known as the "Yellow Earl", was the most famous English Lord in the world in his time (www.lowther.co.uk). He was the penniless, wayward younger son who had not expected to inherit, he joined a circus, moved to America to go buffalo hunting, and pawned his birthright to invest in a cattle scheme (which failed). At age 25 in 1882 he inherited the estate on the death of his elder brother, and embarked on high profile affairs (actress Lillie Langtrey being one), until he was "advised" by Queen Victoria to leave the country until the scandal died down. He embarked on a gruelling arctic polar expedition, and returned a hero and celebrity in 1890. He was a great sportsman, he founded the National Sporting Club, and donated the original Lonsdale belts to boxing (Lonsdale is still a well known boxing brand). He is credited with creating the modern sport of boxing, moving from prizefighting to Marquess Queensberry rules and timed rounds. He was also Chairman of Arsenal Football Club (1936), and was also a talented horseman, founder of Royal International Horse Show, and was Master of Quorn and Cottesmore Hunt (hence the stirrup cup). He favoured the colour yellow, servants, cars and houses were all decorated yellow (he was also founder and President of the Automobile Association (AA) which adopted his livery). A biography on his life was published in 1966 called "The Yellow Earl: The Life of Hugh Lowther". During his long and interesting life he spent the family fortune, bankrupting his coal mines, he died in 1944 with no heir and "little concern for those who would be burdened by the Castle, estate and debts" (www.lowther.co.uk). Of interest is that Greyville racecourse in Durban still has an annual horse race called "The Lonsdale Stirrup Cup".
Earl of Lonsdale Silver Gilt Stirrup Cup, 1788 - The Durban Stirrup Cup
Earl of Lonsdale Silver Gilt Stirrup Cup, 1788 - Durban Stirrup Cup

Earl of Lonsdale Silver Gilt Stirrup Cup, 1788 - The Durban Stirrup Cup
Earl of Lonsdale Hugh Lowther Vanity Fair

Earl of Lonsdale Silver Gilt Stirrup Cup, 1788 - The Durban Stirrup Cup
Spurrier & Co advert

Earl of Lonsdale Silver Gilt Stirrup Cup, 1788 - The Durban Stirrup Cup
Yellow Earl and 6th Earl of Lonsdale with Queen

Earl of Lonsdale Silver Gilt Stirrup Cup, 1788 - The Durban Stirrup Cup
Earl of Lonsdale Stirrup Cup AD 1788

Earl of Lonsdale Silver Gilt Stirrup Cup, 1788 - The Durban Stirrup Cup
Lonsdale silver gilt stirrup cup

Earl of Lonsdale Silver Gilt Stirrup Cup, 1788 - The Durban Stirrup Cup
Detail of textured silver gilt stirrup cup handle

Earl of Lonsdale Silver Gilt Stirrup Cup, 1788 - The Durban Stirrup Cup
Silver Stirrup cup unscrews from handle

Earl of Lonsdale Silver Gilt Stirrup Cup, 1788 - The Durban Stirrup Cup
Original hallmarked suspensory silver ring

Earl of Lonsdale Silver Gilt Stirrup Cup, 1788 - The Durban Stirrup Cup
Replica of the Earl of Lonsdale's Stirrup Cup AD 1788

Earl of Lonsdale Silver Gilt Stirrup Cup, 1788 - The Durban Stirrup Cup
W Spurrier & Co Birmingham hallmarks

Earl of Lonsdale Silver Gilt Stirrup Cup, 1788 - The Durban Stirrup Cup
Hallmarks under engraving - Lonsdale silver stirrup cup

Earl of Lonsdale Silver Gilt Stirrup Cup, 1788 - The Durban Stirrup Cup
Lonsdale stirrup cup - original box and scale

Earl of Lonsdale Silver Gilt Stirrup Cup, 1788 - The Durban Stirrup Cup
Damage to oak box, silver plaque unengraved

Earl of Lonsdale Silver Gilt Stirrup Cup, 1788 - The Durban Stirrup Cup
H Leighton Piper Lloyds Avenue, London

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