The horn depicted on these plates recall the Anglo-Saxon custom of 'cornage' in the days of King Canute (d. 1035), when such ox horns were gifted in company with a land grant. These romantic plates depict the Pusey cup, a 'horn of plenty' with golden eagle feet recalling Jupiter and the cup-bearing Ganymede. It accompanied a letter of tenure concerning the granting of a Berkshire estate to William Pecote (Pusey) in the early 15th century.
Antiquarians asssociated such horns with the 'Anglo-Saxon drinking-horn' of the 'good old days', and the Pusey Horn was then claimed to have been 'given, together with the manor of Pusey, Berkshire, by Canute to one of his officers, who had penetrated in disguise into the Saxon camp and returned with news of an impending attack'. Its silver-gilt collar bears the inscription 'I Kyng Knowde geve Wyllyam Pecote thys horne to holde by thy londe'. It became an example of feudal tenure of 'Cornage', a variety of 'Grand Serjeantry' and was produced in court in the course of a lawsuit that took place in 1684.
The plates may have been commissioned to commemorate the bequest of the estate in 1789 to Philip Bouverie Pusey (d. 1828), father of the celebrated agriculturist Philip Pusey (d. 1855), a founder of the Royal Agricultural Society of England and royal commissioner of the 1851 Great Exhibition. The horn itself was presented to the Victoria & Albert Museum in 1938 (no. 220) in commemoration of Philip Bouverie Pusey (see Victoria & Albert Museum, English Medieval Silver, 1952).