This exceptional antique silver cup has a flared rim and shaped pedestal onto a circular domed foot.
This antique coconut cup retains the original mount and hinged strapping system securing the natural vessel.
The silver mount is embellished with an engraved geometric border accented with pierced ornamentation.
The coconut bowl is embellished with three exceptional carved panels depicting the portrait of a noble male figure with a coat of arms and two scenes depicting a religious ceremony and a journey on horseback through a busy town.
Each intricately decorated panel is encompassed with an incorporated carved bead and spindle style border.
The upper flared rim of this impressive cup is embellished with the contemporary engraved crest of a demi-lion rampant holding between the paws a sun, all below an earl's coronet*; the rim is comprised of a mixture of copper with silver and the standard of silver for this component cannot be determined.
The cup is fitted with a domed cover encompassed with further engraved ornamentation depicting simplified artistic scenes accented with fruit and foliate designs.
The cover is surmounted by an impressive metal figural finial.
This antique cup is supported by an impressive pedestal accented with three scrolling brackets connecting the hinged straps to the urn style column.
The circular domed base is encompassed with engraved animalistic motifs incorporating scrolling leaf designs and grotesque bearded masks, all above a leaf decorated border to the rim.
* This crest pertains to the family Leeson, earls of Milltown. Given the date of manufacture of this coconut cup and cover it was undoubtedly in the possession of either Joseph Leeson, the 2nd Earl of Milltown or his brother, Brice Leeson, who succeeded his brother as the 3rd Earl.
Further detailed information available on request.
NOTE: Coconut cups were popular in the late 15th and early 16th centuries as it was believed that the shell of the coconut would act as a natural defence against poison. The shells shape and scarcity of the commodity enabled the wealthy to mount the shells in precious metals to allow them to be used as respectable and highly treasured drinking vessels.
Read a blog exploring the features of a coconut cup