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THE SERJEANT AT LAW TUMBLER CUP. A VERY RARE cHARLES ii tUMBLER cUP, OF LARGE SIZE, MADE IN lONDON IN 1684 BY THOMAS CORY.

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To find a tumbler cup from the reign of Charles II is very rare, as very few were made at this early date, especially an example of this size and quality. The Tumbler Cup is of typical form, with a palely gilded interior and thick gauge sides. This example is most unusual, as it is of a good large size and displays an exceptional set of hallmarks on the base. The interior also displays its original assay slither, from when the assay master took a sample of silver in 1684, to ascertain that it was of sterling standard and therefore legally it could bear a set of English hallmarks. This is always a very desirable, original, feature to see.

The sides have been very unusually engraved with:

Top Row: In Mem: Edm:Probyn Law: Carter W: Chapple I: Willes T: Parker T: ABNEY

Second Row: Mill: Fett: Nott Mat: Skinner E: Corbet T: Birch et Edw: Willes Servien: ad Legem (Serjeant at Law)

Third Row: QUOD DATAT GRATUS CIRCULET GRATUITO (That which has been given freely circulates without cost)

The engraved names are those of eminent judges who also occupied the prestigious legal position of 'Serjeant at Law' and it is probable that it was engraved by an individual whose Crest is engraved on the front, possibly a friend of all of the Serjeants. It is probable that they were all known to each other and may have been a friendship group. A serjeant at Law, commonly known simply as a Serjeant, was a member of an order of barristers at the English and Irish Bar. The position of Serjeant at Law is centuries old and there are writs dating to 1300 which identify them as descended from figures in France before the Norman Conquest, thus the Serjeants are said to be the oldest, formally created, order in England. The Order rose during the 16th century as a small, elite, group of lawyers who took much of the work in the central common law courts. Most interestingly, one of the Serjeants, Sir William Chapple, presided at the trail, and ordered the execution of, the highwayman Dick Turpin.

The maker's mark of TC in script monogram has been attributed to Thomas Cory and is shown in Jackson's, 'Silver & Gold Marks' on page 140. He was apprenticed, under the London Goldsmiths'Company, in 1646 and carried on business in London and at Warminster using different marks. He died in 1689 and was buried at St. Brides's Fleet Street. He included spoon making amongst his activities and a very fine Trefid Spoon of 1683 is contained in the collection of the Holborne Museum in Bath.

Height: 2.6 inches, 6.5cm.
Diameter at the rim: 3.5 inches, 8.75cm.
Weight: 7.5 oz.