This Staffordshire loving cup has been chosen by Lorna Young because of her strong connection to the original owner of the mug. Benjamin Young to whom the cup is dedicated was her great grandfather. Benjamin belonged to a family with a variety of business interests in and around Sheffield, with two farms at Holmesfield where he hosted many coursing days for his friends.He was also the landlord of the Royal Oak in Sheffield.
As a coursing enthusiast, he is listed as being a winning owner in a number of the newspapers of the day. White Poll was undoubtedly a favourite dog of his. Unfortunately he is not listed in the Coursing Greyhound Stud Book, nor have we been able to find out why the date was particularly significant.
Loving Cups such as this one were often commissioned to commorate events such as births and marriages. The cups were commonly found in hotels and inn and customers would often have their personal mug hung above the bar of their regular establishment.
The connection between sport and inns is a close one. Pubs often held sporting events and often formed teams and supporters. Benjamin’s interest in coursing could have been held by his customers and it is easy to imagine the cup having pride of place in his hotel.
The Loving cup forms part of the redisplay of Palace House and will help illustrate the link between the decorative arts and sporting history.