To whom and for what it was first made is unknown but in 1859 it was presented by the Royal Thames Yacht Club to James Weld, owner of Lulworth Castle in Dorset and of a race-winning yacht, Alarm.
Hallmarked London 1801 and carrying the maker’s mark for Richard Cooke, it was also engraved with a signature for the retailer Robert Makepeace III, heir to a dynasty of silversmiths.
Standing 20in (50cm) tall and weighing 180oz, the cup featured Poseidon to the finial with masks of Hermes entwined by serpents and with serpent handles. It was in excellent condition.
The £9000-10,000 estimate at the Lytham St Annes sale on November 7 proved a little conservative. It sold at £19,000 to a dealer acting for a South African client.