This set of four pewter stirrup cups and ice bucket can be considered a rare find. Typically you might find people who own individual stirrup cups or even a mismatched grouping of them, but it is hard to find sets with matching ice bucket.
The stirrup cup has been around for many centuries and was used at the beginning of group hunts, specifically fox hunts. In these traditional hunts, the hunting party would use scent hounds to track the movements of the prey. The hunters would follow behind the dogs, usually on horseback. As a token of good luck for the upcoming hunt, the host of the hunting party would offer the riders a parting shot (typically a sherry or spiced wine) – once their feet were firmly in the stirrups. The cups are usually in the likeness of either the “hunter” – a dog or a horse, or the “hunted” – a stag, fox, boar, etc.
Our stirrup cups depict two such animals: a pair of ibex and a pair of stags. The stag cups are slightly taller and not quite as deep as the ibex ones, but both pairs are roughly 5 inches tall, 3 inches in width, and about 3 3/4 inches deep. The cups can rest on a shelf with the mouth down, or they can be turned and displayed antlers down, with the mouth of the cup facing up (they will maintain their balance this way). There are no visible production marks on the cups.
The matching ice bucket is stamped, indicating 95% tin pewter with an unknown production mark. An item that is 95% tin will typically have a high silver sheen, such as our barware set; the other 5% is comprised of copper and antimony for strengthening purposes.
The bucket has stag head mounts on opposite sides of the bucket from each other. The deer on the bucket are short-antlered, similar to the deer stirrup cups.
This vintage barware set, produced in the 1970’s, is a fun and unique item for those that enjoy utilizing their in-home bar.
CONDITION: Good overall condition with minor denting on the mouths of the cups. Minor scratches and buildup to the ice bucket, with a small dent to the edge of the base.