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Christening mug – £12,000 at H Blairman & Sons.

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The design references the 91st Psalm: ‘He shall defend thee under his wings, and thou shalt be safe under his feathers.’

The first recorded example in silver gilt was shown at the Great Exhibition, 1851 (it is pictured in the Art Journal Illustrated Catalogue of the same year) but currently the whereabouts of only two are known. One hallmarked for 1865 is in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum.

This example, with some slight differences to the decoration, is hallmarked for Benjamin Preston, London 1864, and has an inscription to the base stating it was engraved by Aimé Chesneau (b.1822) and purchased from the London retailer Harry Emanuel.