Silver-Mounted Coconut Cups :
Coconut cups have been popular in Western Europe from the late 15th and 16th centuries,
transported from India, as well as South America and the West Indies,
particularly by the Spanish and Portuguese.
Drinking from a coconut cup was believed to cure all sorts of ailments such as fever, kidney failure and tapeworm.
They were not only restorative, but thought to have aphrodisiac powers.
"In the 17th century, travelers and merchants brought back to this country (England) coconuts,
exotic shells and rare birds' eggs, which were given silver mounts"**.
Coconut cups were often turned into the bowl of a wine goblet.
"These often only have a maker's mark or perhaps no mark at all. They are rarely found with a full set of hallmarks."**
17th century examples normally had the rim mounts joined to the foot by means of three equally spaced vertical straps.
Common during the time of Charles II, these cups went out of vogue for a time.
It was not until the reign of George III that examples are again found.
At that date, the British cup was often fully silver- lined, but without vertical straps,
having plain mounts and a full set of hallmarks.
(**Waldron, Antique Silver, p. 182)
*Atlantean type figures are the male correspondent to the female caryatid figures,
derived from Etruscan and Greek temples, traced to the 6th century BC or earlier.