The cup is believed to have been a wedding gift for an influential 18th century Lincolnshire family
A Lincolnshire museum has used its first ever grant from The Art Fund to secure the £19,500 acquisition of an early 18th century gold cup given to the owners of its Grade II-listed home.
The Queen Anne silver-gilt cup and cover, which was crafted by French-born goldsmith Pierre Platel in 1712, is engraved with the coat of arms of the Johnson family, who owned Ayscoughfee Hall in Spalding. It is accompanied by the crest of the Moore family, and is believed to have marked the marriage of Theophilus Johnson and Millicent Moore in 1821.
Councillor Nick Worth, Portfolio holder for Rural Services, thanked museum staff and the Fund for their support.
“This is fantastic news for the museum,” he said. “Ayscoughfee Hall is clearly the most appropriate place for this cup, and we’re delighted to have acquired something with such close links to the town and the Johnson family.”
Johnson held the posts of High Sheriff, Deputy Lieutenant and Justice of the Peace in Lincolnshire in the mid 19th century, and was the fourth owner of the Hall, which was built in the 1400s. The museum was founded in 1987.
Andrew Macdonald, Deputy Director of The Art Fund, added: “We are delighted to have given our first ever grant to Ayscoughfee Hall Museum, helping bring this important wedding cup back to its original home.
“The Johnson family’s association with the area is still visible – the local hospital still bears their name, and their connection to Ayscoughfee is well known.”