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William Williamson Pair of George II Irish Sterling Silver 2-handled Cups, Dublin, c. 1748

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Pairs of mid-18th century cups are very rare and Irish examples are extraordinary. The 2-handled cup was a popular form during this period, however these examples are in a very unusual smaller size. They have lovely cast and applied scroll handles with leaf thumb-pieces. Applied molded bands around the midsections are decorative and compliment the stepped pedestal bases. The interiors exhibit soft hammering from being hand-raised.

Engraved crests on the upper sections of one side are nicely articulated with a bird standing on one leg with the other leg raised grasping a fleur-de-lis. The crest is recorded by Fairbairn for Hughes.

These exceptional antique sterling silver cups are marked on their sides underneath the top rims with the maker's mark along with the harp and hibernia marks. These appear to be the marks photographed in Irish Georgian Silver by Douglas Bennett page 264 figure B. They measure 4.75 inches high by 6.5 inches across the handles, weigh a combined 27.90 troy ounces and are in excellent antique condition with a lovely old surface and some minor firescale.

Provenance: Harry Ashby DeButts, former President of Southern Railroad,
purchased from Shrubsole in New York City in the 1960's,
by descent in the family.