A rare and valuable tumbler cup produced by an influential Chester silver smith in the 17th Century has gone on display at the Grosvenor Museum – thanks to The Tyrer Charitable Trust and Chester law firm Aaron and Partners.
The four-inch tall silver tumbler, produced by Warden of Goldsmiths Peter Pemberton between 1677 and 1687, is believed to be the oldest example of its kind in existence and hasn’t been on public display since the 1970s.
Now it’s returning home to be shown off in all its glory after it was bought by The Tyrer Charitable Trust, a charity set up by Chester-based legal specialists Aaron and Partners that helps put important works of art, culture and heritage on show to the general public.
The trust has placed the cup on a long-term loan to The Grosvenor Museum in Chester city centre.
Clive Pointon, who heads up Chester-based Aaron and Partners’ nationally acclaimed wills, trusts and tax team and is also chairman of The Tyrer Charitable Trust, said: “The Pemberton family played a really important role in Chester’s history, particularly around the production of silver.
“Peter Pemberton was an apprentice to the noted goldsmith Natheniel Bullen and eventually was honoured by becoming a Freeman of Chester in 1676.
“This tumbler is the finest and oldest example of its kind and we’re thrilled to have been given the chance to put it on display at the Grosvenor Museum.
“We believe it dates back to between 1677 and 1687. At that time Chester had been ravaged by the Civil War so it’s really fascinating to think who might have commissioned something like this then.”
The cup was held as part of the Lowe Collection in Chester in 1962, before being sold on to a private collector in 1968 and then on again to the most recent former owners in 2002.
Peter Boughton is the keeper of art at Cheshire West and Chester Council. He spoke at a special event at Stanley Palace, Chester, to showcase the tumbler.
“This is an incredibly significant historical artefact with a strong connection to Chester,” he said. “During the late 17th century the silver industry was thriving in the city. Silver smiths were known for making tumbler cups but as far as we can tell, this is the oldest example.
“I’m delighted that the Tyrer Charitable Trust and Aaron and Partners have been able to bring it back to its home so it can be enjoyed by the people of Chester.”
Aaron and Partners LLP is a top 200 law firm, employing more than 120 staff across its three offices, in Shrewsbury, Chester and Manchester.