Delftware caudle-cups were generally made in the 17th century and are sometimes decorated with royal portraits or the arms of guilds. In John Woodall’s Surgions Mate, published in 1617, the author notes 'A comfortable caudell [is] made with some wine, spices, sugar, and the yolke of an egge.' By the mid-17th century caudle was also taken as a social beverage and as a celebratory drink.
Dated cups and mugs with similar half-length portraits of Charles II range in date from his accession to the throne in 1660 to 1674. The date 1674 may commemorate the end of the third Anglo-Dutch War (1672-1674) and the initials T.R most likely refer to the recipient of the cup. Several examples are recorded by Louis Lipski and Michael Archer, see Dated English Delftware, London, 1984, pp. 166-170, including an example of similar baluster form dated 1668, see cat. no. 765. The present example is particularly finely painted and the half-length coronation portrait is very close to an engraving published by Peter Stent in circa 1662, A similar caudle-cup in the collection of Benjamin F. Edwards III was sold by Christie's New York on 26 January 2010, lot 347.