James has a sport­ing cup with real pedi­gree

James tells us about a sil­ver tro­phy with real rac­ing pedi­gree

EDP Norfolk - - CONTENTS - James Hawkins

Our metic­u­lous searches with our trade links have en­abled us to ac­quire some truly mag­nif­i­cent items of ex­treme rar­ity.

One such is the very rare piece of 18th cen­tury Ir­ish hall­marked sil­ver in the form of the Kil­dare Cup.

The fact that it is hall­marked as Ir­ish sil­ver it­self is al­ways a rar­ity, as many items from this pe­riod were ‘lib­er­ated’ by the Bri­tish and melted down.

This unique tro­phy orig­i­nated at the Cur­ragh race meet­ing ini­tially held in the late au­tumn of 1727. The name the Cur­ragh de­rives from the Gaelic Cuir­reach mean­ing ‘Place of the run­ning horse’.

Kil­dare is the home of clas­sic Ir­ish horse rac­ing, equiv­a­lent to New­mar­ket and the The Kil­dare Cup formed part of the orig­i­nal race meet­ing card.

It is spec­u­lated that the meet­ing was held for one of two rea­sons to mark the death of King Ge­orge I or the reign of the new King Ge­orge II. Both mon­archs were pro­lific race-go­ers.

The tro­phy mea­sures five inches high by 6½ inches at the widest point and weighs only 370grams, a mere 12 troy ounces.

The tro­phy is pre­sented in the clas­si­cal form and dec­o­rated with flo­ral em­bossed and re­poussé de­signs, achieved by ham­mer­ing the de­sign into the sil­ver, in the in­taglio style (from the re­verse) demon­strat­ing the high­est qual­ity of crafts­man­ship.

The hall­marks are distinc­tively hid­den within the flo­ral de­sign but par­tially ev­i­dent de­spite the nat­u­ral fire mark­ings typ­i­cal

from this pe­riod. It was made and hall­marked by a ven­er­a­ble Ge­or­gian era Dublin sil­ver­smith Wil­liam Townsend (W.T).

It has the Dublin as­say of­fice mark of the Ir­ish harp sur­mounted by the Im­pe­rial or State Crown to iden­tify that the duty tax was paid on the item and that it met with the stan­dard of sil­ver con­tent.

The con­cept of as­say mark­ing dates back to 1158 dur­ing the reign of King Henry II

(1154 – 1189) who wanted to en­sure that the coins made de­pict­ing his like­ness were of the high­est qual­ity.

This later be­came known as ster­ling sil­ver, first recorded as part of the Trial of Pyx, a cer­e­mony that dates back to the 13th cen­tury, when coins made by The Royal Mint were first put to the test to check they con­tained the right amount of pre­cious met­als.

We at Juels’ Lim­ited are al­ways look­ing to pur­chase and source more sil­ver­ware to add to our col­lec­tion; for more de­tails or val­u­a­tions con­tact James in the Royal Ar­cade, Nor­wich.

This col­umn is spon­sored by Juels’ Ltd juel­slim­ited.co.uk juel­[email protected] 01603 666373

‘Ir­ish sil­ver it­self is al­ways a rar­ity, as many items from this pe­riod were ‘lib­er­ated’ by the Bri­tish and melted down’

LEFT: The stun­ning sil­ver Kil­dare Cup, rich in rac­ing her­itage

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