Unusual Scottish Britannia standard silver loving cup
Hamilton & Inches - Edinburgh, 1895
This highly unusual loving cup is made by the eminent Edinburgh firm of Hamilton & Inches and is Britannia standard, a higher grade of silver than sterling 925. It is a heavy object, weighing in at 286 grams.
The shape is inspired by ancient Celtic drinking vessels but the design has been updated to the time by planishing the surface, a feature popular on Arts & Crafts and Art Nouveau silver of the time.
The cup is engraved with a crest, featuring a coronet and a swan. Research has shown it is part of the crest of the Earls of Albemarle. Although the coronet on this cup is that of a Duke, and the Dukedom had died out by this time, this exact crest appears on a book binding for the 8th Earl of Albemarle.