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George III Silver Cup and Cover

Image LANMS.2006.2.4.Front (image/jpeg)

This fine silver commemorative cup was made by the well-known London silversmith, John Robins, It was presented by the electors of Lancaster to Abraham Rawlinson on the occasion of his having been Member of Parliament for Lancaster from 1780 to 1790.

On one side is a cartouche inscribed: "To Abraham Rawlinson Esqr. For his publick Service, as Representative of the Borough of Lancaster, in two successive Parliaments, and for his spirited and successful Exertions in Support of their Independence, his Fellow Citizens have presented this Testimony of their Approbation. AD. MDCCXC".

On the other side is a cartouche in repousse with an allegorical representation of Plenty, holding a cornucopia, and being crowned with a laurel wreath by Victory. Around her are sheaves of corn and, perhaps to reassure the electors that Lancaster’s prosperity would continue, cannon, cannon balls and a barrel of gunpowder.

A very small top-most fraction of the finial on the cover appears to be missing, but this does not detract from the appearance of the whole. This splendid trophy was purchased for Abraham Rawlinson by the rich merchants of Lancaster, almost all of whom were directly or indirectly involved in the slave trade. Abraham specifically identifies the cup in his will as "the silver vase and stand presented me by the ladies and gentleman of Lancaster as a token of their approbation of my conduct in Parliament for the ten years I had the honour to represent them".

The cup remained within the family until purchased for the Judges' Lodgings Museum, Lancaster in 2006. The purchase was generously funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund and the Art Fund.