The arms are those of Cotton with Craggs in pretence for Sir John Hinde Cotton of Landwade, Cambridgeshire, 3rd baronet (1686-1752). He married secondly Margaret, third daughter of James Craggs (1657-1721). An active politician, Cotton served as commissioner of trade under Queen Anne, but was dismissed by George I for his Jacobite sympathies. Antiquary William Cole described him as "the tallest and fattest man he had ever seen and able to drink as much wine without showing it as any man in England." The same arms are engraved on a Charles I inkstand, 1639, sold at Christie's, London, July 1, 1970, lot 122.
The beautifully engraved decoration on this cup was probably done by Charles Gardner (d. 1762), who supplied other finely engraved pieces to John White, including the Beaufort toilet set of 1729 and Lord Chancellor King's seal salver of 1728. The engraved strapwork on the present cup compares very closely to similar decoration on an ewer from the Beaufort service, which sold at Christie's, London, March 17, 1999, lot 109.
Sir John Hinde Cotton, by Sir Godfrey Kneller
Courtesy National Portrait Gallery