Wine Cups for the Goldsmiths’ Company: Contemporary Commissions 1957-2020

The first Court Cups were commissioned in 1957 by members of the Company’s ‘Court of Assistants’ for their use when dining at the Hall. The aim was to give members of the Court the experience of commissioning a contemporary piece of silver, thereby making the members natural ambassadors for the craft as they used their cups at events in the Hall.

The commissioning of Court Cups has been a tradition ever since. This unique series of commissions over 60 years documents developments in design, taste, technology and making as well as telling stories about the Company and its people, both patrons and makers. The Cups were the subject of an online talk by the Company Curator, Dr Dora Thornton in 2020 – shared below in honour of our ‘Designs on Silver’ exhibition by kind permission of The Silver Society.

Dora spoke about the extraordinary series of silver wine cups commissioned by the Company to the Silver Society—the illustrated talk explores the story of each cup, its patron and maker.