John Hollinghead (1827-1904) was both a journalist and theatre manager. He opened the Gaiety Theatre on the Strand in 1868. In 1879 he arranged with Monsieur M. L. Mayer of La Comédie Français to present a season of French plays starring Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923) one of the greatest actresses of her time. In London in April 1882 she married a Greek diplomat Aristidis Damala (1857-1889). The date on the inscription and the cupid finial could point to the cup being a gift to Miss Bernhardt from Hollinghead and Mayer.