Oct 2, 2014

~ stirrup cups for fall

Tory Burch has successfully elicited fall inspiration from this girl, plus hours of research, through a recent instagram post. This image welcoming the change of the season got me going in a big way...

I had no idea what these fox heads were, and Tory does not offer any explanation whatsoever. So off to the internet I went. 

Ironically, my friend Kyle noticed the same post and did her own research. We crack me up...

Turns out this charming cup, a stirrup cup, was a specialized drinking vessel widely used during the late 18th and 19th centuries. A rider on horseback, often departing or arriving home from the hunt, was presented with this type of cup while on horseback. (With feet in stirrups…)

You'll notice the cups have no base requiring another individual, presumably a servant, to hand the stirrup cup to the drinker.

I would imagine the contents were not dawdled over, but downed rather quickly and returned to the servant - sometimes on a specially fitted tray to hold such cups.

Stirrup cups came in both shot glass size as well as larger cups. Although the more elaborate versions were made of silver, less expensive versions, usually made in Staffordshire, England, were available in ceramic, my favorites.

Here is a beautifully displayed set of ceramic stirrup cups from Earle D. Vandekar of Knightsbridge.

Manufacturers, inspired by the hunt, produced a wide range of stirrup cups including heads of foxes, dogs, rabbits, and fish.

Tory's "First Day of Fall" photo definitely inspired the spirit of the season in me… And a new collection crusade. Lord help me.

(Images are from Pinterest or 1st Dibs)

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sharon smith said...

I feel the same way! I instantly wanted to start to collect. Love the lesson, thanks for the research!

Angelina B. said...

How fascinating! I think I will be on the hunt (pun intended) for a stirrup cup!

Shery G said...

Oh Wow, these are such a fun collection. I think they'll make a great father's day present.

Sarah said...

I have a cousin who has a collection of these. Good luck with the search. It will be fun!

Beth Sanderson said...

I have several of the staffordshire stirrup cups and love them. They are beautiful. Good luck!