Saturday, May 8, 2010

Antique-Inspired Stirrup Cups

I love these and would love to have them. Each is made of pewter and glass and consist of a moose and bear head. Inspired by the old traditional way of taking a drink before the hunt.
A stirrup cup is a "parting cup" given to guests, especially when they are leaving and have their feet in the stirrups. It is also the traditional drink (usually port or sherry) served at the meet, prior to a traditional foxhunt. The term can describe the cup that such a drink is served in.
In colloquial Highland Scots the host may well, in inviting his guest to stay briefly for that farewell drink, call it a "dochan doruis" (from Scottish Gaelic deoch an dorais, literally "drink of the door").
In Anya Seton's Katherine the custom occurs frequently before English royalty and nobility leave on travels abroad or pAnya Seton's Katherine rogresses. In G.G. Coulton's Chaucer and his England it is referred to in relation to the Canterbury pilgrims setting out.