The two female figures lift a crown on the front of this cup that closely resembles Saint Edward’s Crown, the heraldic emblem of the United Kingdom.
Produced a year after the coronation of James II (1633–1701), this silver cup celebrates the monarchy and reflects the political and social alliances that underpinned the aristocracy during the 1600s. During their coronation, James II and his second wife Mary of Modena (1658–1718) were carried through the city of London under a silk canopy adorned with motifs inspired by European perceptions of Chinese art, known as chinoiserie. Following the procession, the thirty-two lords involved in the ceremony were each offered a portion of the cloth from the canopy as well as sixteen troy ounces of silver from the posts. At least two of them commissioned cups adorned with chinoiserie to be made from the silver. While it is unclear if this cup once belonged to one of the thirty-two peers, it was almost certainly created in response to the same motifs and social developments.
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