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Cup and cover

Burrell Collection Photo Library

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Cup and cover

A silver-gilt cup and cover made by Robert Gray & Son in Glasgow, 1821.

This cup's form is based on the pottery krater of Ancient Greece. Cast and chased vine leaves and bunches of grapes decorate the rim, while the handles are in the shape of vine stems. Two racing horses decorate the body of the cup.

Robert Gray (1756-1829) was a goldsmith who set up business in the Trongate in 1776. His son William (1781-1850) joined the firm in 1802. In 1810 the business began producing Greek-revival silverware to meet the demand from the increasingly wealthy and fashion-conscious Glasgow citizenry. However, in the 1830s and 1840s there were complaints that Glasgow goldsmiths and silversmiths were suffering a "great and continued depression of trade" as English goods flooded the market. Robert Gray & Son closed in the early 1850s.

Reference: E.1988.16

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Museums

Keywords:
cups, goldsmiths, grapes, horse racing, horses, Robert Gray & Son, silver-gilt, silversmiths, vine leaves



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