Its first owner was John Walton, the Archdeacon of Derby from 1590-1603, whose name appears to the foot. However, a small silver disc soft soldered to the base indicates it was later presented as the prize to the owners of Don Sancho, the winner of the Irish Grand National in 1928 (see detail below).
It comes for sale in Somerset from a descendant as ‘the property of a gentleman’ with an estimate of £30,000-40,000.
Steeple cups, a distinctly English form, were thought to have been chiefly secular vessels used in a domestic setting for feasting.
The subject of an exhaustive study by the academic Norman Penzer (1892- 1960), he found surviving examples date from 1599-1646 making this one of the earliest extant.