Object Title

Two-handled cup

Two-handled cup



Object Number



Purchased from Skinner and Co. Old Bond St. London. 19th April 1991

Physical Description

Britannia standard silver-gilt cup with two handles and a lid. On one side is engraved the armorial arms of George Tollet, and on the other side a represenation of the White Tower. On the base are struck four marks.


Dimensions: Height with lid: 9.2 in. [23.5 cm.]; without lid: 6.5 in. [16.5 cm.]; diameter: 5.75 in. [14.5 cm.] Weight: With lid: 3 lb. 1.5 oz. [1.415 kg.]; without lid: 2 lb. 6.25 oz. [1.085 kg.]

Inscriptions and Marks

On base: Date letter B for 1717/18 , a maker's mark HO[?] for Edward [or Edmond] Holaday , the Britannia silver standard stamp, and the erased lions head for London.


Bibliographic References

Patricia Fara 'Elizabeth Tollet: A New Newtonian Woman', History of Science xl (2002), p 169-187, TML/BC 12.06.02


Edward Holaday was apprenticed to John Bache 22 Sept. 1699. Free, 14 Sept. 1709. Mark was entered as a largeworker Nov.1709. Address, Golden Cup, end of Gerrard Street near Newport Market, 1712. Livery Dec.1717. Died 1719. Presumably succeeded by his widow Sarah.

George Tollet was commissioner of the Navy in the reigns of William III and Anne. He had a house in the Tower of London, and was married to Elizabeth Oates, of the Isle of Man. Two children, Elizabeth Tollet (1694-1754) a noted poetess, and George Tollet. [D.N.B. VOL.XIX p.928.]
Recorded in the 'Tower burial Register' :- 'Charles Tollet, gent, brother of George buried 14 Aug 1717.'
Recorded in the 'Tower Dividend Book':- 'When the Earl of Oxford was committed prisener on 16 July 1715 he was firstly held att Mr Tollet's and then removed to ye Deputy Governor's'.
George Tollet was appointed as an Extra Commissioner 11. Feb. 1702 to 16 Nov. 1714 when his letter was revoked. The Commissioners were appointed to oversee various aspects of navy business, such as stores, ordnance, victualling and dockyards. [A History of the Administration of the Royal Navy 1509-1660, Oppenheim, 1988, Temple Smith. ]

From 2 June 1649 the Navy Commissioners were housed in rooms in the victualling office at Tower Hill. In 1654 they moved into Sir John Wolstenholme's house in Seething Lane, which became the Navy Office for a long time.