The Silver Trophy
The 19th century was the high point of the silver trophy and testimonial. It was common for large groups of people to subscribe to a fund to present an impressive silver cup or bowl in order to thank a politician, benefactor or merchant who had done some good service to his community and the greater the recipient and the wealthier the subscribers the more lavish the presentation. The silver would often be given together with a sum of money and the inscription on the piece would give the details about the particular service rendered and list those who had contributed individually or more often generically.
This was also a time when some of the most celebrated silversmiths had reached their apogee. Large centerpieces such as the one given to Sir Moses Montefiore by the Khedive of Egypt , now on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum, were magnificent examples of sculpting and chasing that raised them from the pedestrian into true works of art. Large pieces of silver from as far back as the 16th century were also a way of their owner showing off his wealth and power and often therefore these pieces served no other function than to be decorative.
MARK OF WALKER & HALL, SHEFFIELD, 1913