Noun: “Stirrup Cup” 1.“parting cup” given to guests, especially when they are leaving a home and have their feet in the stirrups 2. when a group of (mostly fox) hunters stop for a drink during a hunt and don’t dismount. 3. “a drink at the door.”
Stirrup cups are unique ceramic, silver, glass or pewter vessels. When turned over the animal head serves as a stable base and when heads-up they are beautiful detailed works of art. The subjects change however, the theme is usually hunt related, with animals such as boars, elk, dogs, rams, and of course the fox. I was fortune to find these three English stirrup cups this weekend at the flea market. They will join a set of 4 other cups I previously found and be placed on our English Woodland Table for Le Potager's table-top setting event next month.
Stirrup cups make a wonderful addition to your table decor and can set a theme. Imagine, a water glass, wine glass and a stirrup cup at each place setting. Especially for an autumn dinner, these cups are perfect for an after dinner aperitif. Stirrup cups are still affordable, depending on the animal represented as some are more rare than others.
Below is a very nice site about the history of stirrup cups if you are interested.