Edward H. Pinto, Treen and Other Wooden Bygones, Bell and Hyman, London 1968. See pages 50-1, fig. 29.
Viscountess Wolseley, Historic Houses of Sussex, The Sussex County Magazine, Vol.X, January to December 1936.
Edward Pinto records this wassail bowl as one of the early, if not the earliest survivor's of its type. Its incised ornament at first glance is similar to the later recorded 'armorial cups' of James I's reign, and as such acts as a link and forerunner to these much admired and coveted treen vessels of the early 17th century. The act of wassailing is first recorded in Britain in the 5th century A.D., but this design of very deep and slightly tapering bowl, on a stem and wide circular foot, for the purposes of wassailing, appears to emanate predominantly from the 17th century. The use of sycamore in the present example has allowed for its generous proportions, the slower growing and narrower beam fruitwoods such as pear (a wood more readily associated with the later 'armorial cups') could have rarely borne such an example. Later examples in lignum vitae obviously exist in much larger sizes, but these appear not to pre-date the second quarter of the 17th century.
Hickstead Place was in the ownership of a Royalist family called Stapley at the turn of the 17th century. The earliest recording of the family in residence was that of a Richard Stapley in 1505. The Sapleys remaining right through until the death of another Richard in 1762, who was suceeded in ownership by his daughter Martha.