M. FORD CREECH ANTIQUES & FINE ARTS
SCARCE STAFFORDSHIRE POTTERY STIRRUP CUP : MUZZLED BEAR
England, Early c19th Century
The cup modeled as a white collared and muzzled bear's head with whimsical expression,
showing all teeth and with red tongue extended (but almost smiling),
having black-edged slightly reddened eyes and protruding ears and nose,
the rose muzzle extending from an orange-rimmed rose collar
The exact origin of the 'stirrup cup', or 'parting cup', is unknown.
However it seems tied to foxhunting,
when men gathering for the hunt on a cool morning would enjoy a drink as they departed.
As the cups were held on horseback, there was no need for a foot to the vessel.
The earliest were in silver (known as 'tot cups') and date as early as 1670,
the ceramic the mask or head cups dating from c1770.
The drink traditionally was port or sherry, sometimes brandy.
Condition : Overall excellent with only minor superficial firing faults (seen above, in glaze only)
and a minor rim abrasion
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M. Ford Creech Antiques & Fine Arts / 581
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