The Leigh family are recorded in Essex from the late 16th century, Having descended from the Leighs of Baggesley, Cheshire. They owned the manor of Shingford St. Pauls, near Chingford from 1567 until late 17th century when Edmund Leigh Esq., second son and heir of Edward Leigh (d.1691) sold the land to Robert Snell Esq. Later references to the family include a bequest from Richard Clarke Esq. to his sister Catherine Leigh (d. circa 1780), wife of Barnabas Eveleigh Leigh Esq.
The design of the cup is composed of elements which appear in a number of cups in the 1730s and early 1740s. T. Schroder in Silver at Partridge, 1992, p.26 notes four various cups closely related to the present example, by Lamerie, John le Sage, Thomas Farren and Benjamin Godfrey. Perhaps the closest example is that by Lamerie, 1736, now in the Al Tajir Collection, exhibited London, Christie's, The Glory of the Goldsmith, 1989, no. 74. The handle castings were also used by George Wickes and Charles Kandler. The appearance of similar forms in the work of so many silversmiths illustrates the intertwined working relationships that existed in the 18th century London silver trade.
The present cup is only struck with the maker's mark and a cancelled sterling standard mark. It is probable that John White cut the marks from a smaller piece and then inserted them into the base of the cup. Therefore he would not have submitted the cup to the Goldsmiths' Hall for assay, thus avoiding the duty of 6d per ounce of silver that was payable. Such 'duty dodgers' saved the silversmith approximately 10 of the final cost of the piece. In order to sell objects of this nature the hallmarks must be cancelled by the Assay office, leaving only the makers mark.