Two-handled silver cup and cover presented to Captain Thomas Greenwood by the Underwriters at Lloyd's.

Urn-shaped cup similar to Lloyd's Patriotic Fund vases, but with double rope-twist handles, standing on a fluted foot. The base of the bowl is decorated with acanthus leaves and acorns and the top with foliage scrolls. The upper part is made in two sections, the lower decorated with fruiting vines. The finial is a sprig of oak leaves and acorns.

One side has the monogram 'TG' for Thomas Greenwood, in a wreath surrounded by naval trophies. Inscribed on the other side: 'PRESENTED TO Capt. Thomas Greenwood OF LANCASTER by the Underwriters at Lloyds AS A TESTIMONY OF RESPECT FOR HIS SERVICES having commanded with success during 32 voyages to the West Indies the ships Cornet, Molly, Chatsworth, Aurora, Mars, Harriet Pasey Hall & William Ashton, all of Lancaster, and having in the last mentioned vessel mounting 16-9 Pounders with 25 men, on the 22 August 1810 ENGAGED AND BEAT OFF A FRENCH CORVETTE OF 18 - 18 POUNDERS AND 125 MEN after an action of one hour.'. The base is inscribed 'I SMITH 27 CORNHILL FECIT.'.

According to the Lancaster Records, the cup was valued at 100 guineas at the time of its presentation to Captain Greenwood on 28 February 1811.

While the presentation of the cup speaks to a particular incident, Greenwood’s transatlantic trading sheds a light on a wider story. Operating from Lancaster, he imported, among other things, tropical hardwoods from the Caribbean. A key customer was the fashionable and highly regarded furniture maker Gillow and Co. of Lancaster. Doubtless the output of Gillow’s workshops made its way across the Atlantic to furnish plantation houses, demonstrating the flows of materials, tastes and goods around the Atlantic as the planter elite emulated metropolitan style.

The silversmiths Benjamin and James Smith operated from premises in Soho, but also maintained a workshop in Greenwich South Street.

Object Details

ID: PLT0060
Collection: Decorative art
Type: Cup
Display location: Display - Atlantic Gallery
Creator: Smith, Benjamin; Smith, James
Date made: 1810-1811
People: Lloyd's Underwriters; Greenwood, Thomasfl
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London. On loan from the Burr Family.
Measurements: Overall: 39 x 343 x 184 mm

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